Less school snow jobs

January 21, 2014 

We can't imagine that anyone is really of the opinion that our students need fewer days in class. We also can’t imagine that any student would benefit from a diploma with an asterisk on it: “*Doesn’t quite measure up, but we’re giving this one a pass because of an act of God.”

The recent snow has a bunch of local school districts asking the state to give them a pass from making up all of the snow days. They are required to build five into their calendars. Beyond that they can ask forgiveness from making up the days without losing state aid.

We thought it interesting that Triad Superintendent Leigh Lewis noted eloquently that whenever you lose instruction time, you should try to make that up. Yet noted the difference between losing days before “high-stakes tests” and time added to the end of the school year. Triad is seeking forgiveness for one snow day.

There is a good argument there for following the Gibault Catholic High School model of letting students and teachers spend snow days working from home in this hyper-connected world. Yet most school districts are not there yet.

Until they are, in-class instruction is valuable to the students and their futures, regardless of whether it comes in January or May. Collinsville and O’Fallon schools seem to get that, and build in additional potential snow days.

We hope schools pull back from seeking these exemptions. They should look at Casimir Pulaski Day, assemblies, school in late May and early June and other ways to make up the instruction hours.

The teaching can still be of high quality, and maybe the best lesson for the kids is that there’s no play without work.

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