Snow days may lengthen school year

Annie Matheis, News Editor

This school year, originally scheduled to end on May 25, may be extended into the summer as a result of six snow days.

The four snow days built into the school year would have pushed the last day of school to June 1.

Principal Scott Bacon said he believes the snow days disrupted the school schedule, but it is nothing that the students and teachers cannot overcome.

“Ideally, when we begin the semester, we like to get into a routine,” Bacon said. “I think our students appreciate getting into a rhythm, and I know our teachers do. I know our teachers will do a great job in making adjustments and regaining that rhythm very quickly.”

The state of Kansas requires a minimum number of hours students must spend in class each year.

Bacon said the BV district typically has more hours than mandated, so there is a cushion for snow days.

Bacon said the snow days may cause scheduling issues with original plans for the school year, especially for AP classes and state assessments.

“Everybody is in adjustment mode — students and staff,” Bacon said. “ From what I have seen so far, both have said, ‘This isn’t something we can control, so we can deal with it and move on.’”

AP Government teacher Brian Mowry said the biggest challenge resulting from snow days was an inability to establish relationships with his classes.

“Normally, I could tell what the personality of all my classes are, because every class has a personality, and I can’t quite do that yet,” he said. “It just slows everything down, because I don’t feel like I know my classes well enough to make the adjustments you need to make when you teach.”

Mowry said the key to adapting to the days off is self-advocacy.

“If you are being left on your own to learn these things, you need to check yourself along the way and you need to ask for help if it’s not working,” Mowry said. “While teachers might be pushing to get things accomplished, I guarantee you no one wants to brush past things a few kids aren’t getting.”

Bacon said he believes safety is the first thing to consider when calling a snow day.

“It is not worth it to have a school day and have somebody get seriously hurt because we felt like we needed to have school,” he said. “I think our district has done a great job in exercising their decision-making based on that. Is it convenient? No. But all of these things are not a fault of anybody. They are natural events that we had to respond to. We will move forward the best we can.”