State may allow missed days to be made up in hours

Ritz considers plan to add time to the school day instead of days to the calendar

Indiana State Superintendent Glenda Ritz is considering a plan that would allow school districts to make up lost snow days in hours rather than additional days.

“It’s making up time, but not necessarily making up an extra day,” Ritz said during a state school board meeting Thursday. “They have to talk about all those options. There are a lot of factors to consider. But we want them to have as many options as possible for making up of time.”

How that news will affect Wayne Township remains to be seen. Currently, the township has two snow days to make up. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts will discuss possible alternatives to the school schedule at Monday’s township school board meeting.

Ritz indicated during Thursday’s meeting that if districts can present a workable plan, missed school days could be made up by adding hours to current days or having students make up work online. Districts interested in this option would need to apply for a waiver and present a plan.

Butts has been gathering feedback this week to take to the school board Monday. A poll on has generated nearly 300 responses in less than one week and the results favor adding Memorial Day to the schedule. The poll was posted prior to Wednesday’s snow day. The township has three snow days to make up. One will be on Great America’s Day on Feb. 17, leaving two more days to be added to the schedule.

Ritz indicated that schools could add an hour a day for six days to make up one missed six-hour day. To do so, districts would need to evaluate current busing schedules.

Butts hope to have a decision early next week on any make-up plans.

Wednesday’s snow fall has made this winter the fourth snowiest winter in Indianapolis history. The area is seven inches shy of the record total of 51 inches in 1981-82.