Make-up days of less use at end of calendar

This school year, the final one before calamity days may be obsolete, districts in Ohio may be getting more of them.

Gov. John Kasich urged state legislators Monday to add more calamity days this year due to the unusually severe winter weather. Later that day, two lawmakers proposed letting schools take four foul-weather days off this year in addition to the five now allowed.

Next school year, so-called “snow days” might not be needed. Districts will be allowed to switch to an hour-based schedule, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Schools would be able to schedule hours beyond the minimum number into their calendars.

Thus, hours missed above the minimum would not have to be made up, unless a school closes enough to fall below the required number of hours. Those hours could be made up by extending or adding school days.

But what about the current school year? We think extra days added to the end of a district’s calendar would be of limited use. That is due to previous state educational policy.

Ohio Achievement?Assessments are set for April 24 through May 9. This means, in a very real sense, student objectives should have been reached before the tests are administered.

Yes, instructors still could teach – and students still could learn – into June. Any work beyond mid-May largely would amount to preparation for next year – which is to bring a revised, computer-based method of assessing students’ knowledge.

Unless the missed school days can be made up before late April, districts should have extra calamity days at their disposal.