Will school districts make up missed days due to H1N1? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Will school districts make up missed days due to H1N1?


MADISON (WKOW) -- Living in Wisconsin, students and teachers understand there may be "make up days" due to winter weather cancellations. However, some districts are wondering if they'll have to change their school calendar due to H1N1. 

Wisconsin Dells has two built-in snow days for this school year. However, the flu bug has already cut its school year three days short.

"When the principals went around and said, 'Fess up, are you sick?', kids raised their hands and went to the office to call their parents," Wisconsin Dells School District Administrator Chuck Whitsell told 27 News on October 6th.

Classes in the Dells are back in session, but with the flu season just beginning and Old Man Winter fast approaching, district leaders know more days off are likely.

Wisconsin law requires the school calendar to be 180-days. However, five of those days can be used for inclement weather or parent-teacher conferences, so the important number becomes 175.

Days are one thing, hours are another. According to Department of Public Instruction, districts must provide the following instructional hours in a school year.

*Half-day kindergarten: 437 hours

*Full-day kindergarten - grade 6: 1,050 hours

*Grades 7 - 12: 1,137 hours

Right now, Whitsell says his staff is recalculating the numbers. If need be, he says instead of extending the school year, the district will likely extend certain school days to meet the hourly state requirements.

DPI says districts can apply for a waiver from the hours requirement. For example, if they provide online classes or take-home packets for students that may qualify as instruction time.

Districts, like Wisconsin Dells, likely won't make any changes to their school calendars until winter is over and snow days have been counted.

A change to school day/hour standards would require state legislative support.





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