Michigan Board of Education Rolls Out New ‘Snow Day’ Policy
As many Michigan school districts have gone over their allotted number of snow days this school year, the Michigan Board of Education has unanimously adopted a new ‘Snow Day’ policy, which it is strongly encouraging districts to follow.
The board wants districts that have used more than their allotted six snow days to make up the lost time by adding full days of education, rather than adding minutes to their remaining days.
Full replacement days offer every student the full extent of quality instruction that they missed when the school was closed.
State law requires districts to offer no fewer than 170 days and 1,098 hours of education, whichever is greater.
Cars 108 listener opinions varied when asked if schools should be able to extend remaining school days, rather than add full days to calendars.
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This is the full statement from the Michigan Board of Education, as it was posted on its website:
LANSING — The State Board of Education this week unanimously adopted a statement on the replacement of Snow Days, when a local school district exceeds the six days allowable by state law; encouraging districts to replace the lost time with full days of instruction instead of adding hours to the remaining days on their existing school calendars.
Statement by the State Board of Education on Snow Days
"…encouraging districts to replace the lost time with full days of instruction instead of adding hours to the remaining days on their existing school calendars."The State Board of Education’s stated mission is that all students graduate ready for careers, college, and community. The State Board firmly believes that students should receive the maximum amount of quality educational instruction possible in order to meet that goal. Current state law requires school districts to offer at least 1,098 hours of instruction in the 2013-14 school year. The districts must also provide a minimum of 170 days or the number of days offered in 2009-10, whichever is greater. Many districts provide 180 days of instruction; some districts provide more.
State law also recognizes that circumstances outside of the control of a school district, such as severe weather, illness outbreaks, or interruptions in utilities, may cause schools to be closed unexpectedly. The law provides for up to six such days to be counted toward those 1,098 hours without loss of state aid. Any days beyond the six allowed must be replaced for the district to receive its full amount of state aid.
Legislation (House Bill 5285) has been introduced to allow school districts to make up those additional days beyond the six allowed by adding minutes onto each day remaining on their school calendars. A better solution would be to make them up with full days of student instruction.
The majority of the studies for extended school year programs indicate that participation in extended year schools is associated with favorable achievement outcomes.
"Any days beyond the six allowed must be replaced for the district to receive its full amount of state aid."
Increased quality instructional time in which students are actively engaged in learning can have a positive effect on student achievement. Research suggests that expanding the amount of instructional and academic learning time for at-risk or low-income students may improve student learning and close achievement gaps between those students and their peers.
The 1994 Prisoners of Time report by the National Education Commission on Time and Learning, stated that time can be “an academic equalizer.”
The State Board of Education believes, and strongly encourages school districts to, replace additional lost days with full days of student instruction, not by adding on minutes to the existing days remaining in the school year. Full replacement days offer every student the full extent of quality instruction that they missed when the school was closed. This method allows teachers to complete their full lesson plans with integrity and provide students with the appropriate depth of instruction they need to meet their instructional goals for every class. This is the better strategy to ensure that students will be ready for career, college, and community.
Adopted unanimously on February 11, 2014