Legislation To Forgive Snow Days Won't Have Big Impact Locally
May 7, 2019
Legislation that would forgive some snow days for school districts across the state will not have much impact locally.
Michigan schools would not have to reschedule up to four snow days that occurred during an arctic deep freeze under legislation that won final approval last Thursday and is awaiting the expected signature of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. State law forgives districts from making up six days that have been canceled for emergencies and schools can get a waiver from the state for three additional days. Many districts have already reached or exceeded nine snow days, with some in the double digits.
Fowlerville Community Schools Superintendent Wayne Roedel says back in early April, the district added one day to their school calendar due to excessive snow days and he notified students, staff and community that the new last day would be Monday, June 10th. After reading the new legislation, Roedel believes the one added day will be forgiven. He says the legislation indicates there will be a process to request that the emergency snow days be forgiven and when that process is developed, he’ll make the request to waive those state declared emergency days. If confirmation is received from the Michigan Department of Education that the extra day was forgiven, then Roedel would notify the school community that the district will end on the original calendar date of Friday, June 7th. In Brighton Area Schools, Superintendent Greg Gray says their situation almost exactly mirrors Fowlerville’s and they will be following the same process, with the exception that grades junior kindergarten through 6th had one additional snow day so they would have been out June 11th.
The pending legislation will not have much impact on the Howell, Pinckney or Hartland districts. Howell Public Schools Superintendent Erin MacGregor says nine days were canceled for inclement weather, which was three more than permitted. He says they already submitted a waiver and were approved for three forgiven days, which allows them to conclude the school year as originally scheduled on June 6th. However, MacGregor noted they did have one school, Northwest Elementary, that was closed an additional day for a power outage. Assuming the legislation is signed by the Governor, he says they will immediately submit a waiver for one additional day for Northwest. The legislation won’t impact Pinckney Community Schools as the district only had eight snow days. Superintendent Rick Todd says they already applied and have been approved for the waiver so the schedule has not changed. The same holds for Hartland Consolidated Schools, which has an approved waiver to get back to their original end date. (JM)