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Archive for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lawrence school board to decide how to make up time lost to snow; classes, activities likely to resume Thursday

February 2, 2011, 1:25 p.m. Updated February 2, 2011, 5:42 p.m.

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Lawrence school board members will be assigning extra time in schools for students, teachers and staffers.

The only question now is when.

By the end of the month, board members will be expected to either lengthen school days or lengthen the school year to make up instructional time lost while students and employees were told to stay home Wednesday because of snow.

The four days that Superintendent Rick Doll already had called off classes earlier this year either will be made up as previously scheduled or not made up at all, thanks to latitude granted by state education officials.

But from Wednesday on out, any school time lost to weather delays or cancellations must be made up. And that either could be through additional minutes tacked onto each remaining school day, or by affixing a day or days onto the end of the academic calendar.

Mother Nature likely will have a say as well.

“If this is the only one (makeup) day, it’s easier to make the decision to add minutes onto the school day,” said Mark Bradford, the board’s vice president. “If there’s several more, I’d say, ‘Forget that; let’s look at a day or days to make that up.’ ”

The board’s chance to decide whether to cut into after-school afternoons or shorten summer vacation likely will come during one of two remaining meetings this month: Feb. 14 or Feb. 28, Doll said.

Bradford is looking forward to hearing what Doll recommends.

“It’s a matter of talking with staff to see what’s best for kids,” Bradford said.

Doll, for his part, spent part of his day Wednesday checking snow and ice conditions at several schools’ parking lots and sidewalks.

He plans for classes and activities to be conducted as scheduled Thursday.

“I think so,” he said. “The side streets are clear, and staff’s done a good job clearing the parking lots and sidewalks. I think we should be good to go, unless something happens.”

Doll noted that snow had shown up in the forecast again, this time for Monday.

“We can’t catch a break,” he said.

Comments

Jeanne Cunningham 3 years, 10 months ago

How many Wednesdays are left until the end of the school year? Stretch them out to normal school closing time for as many as needed to compensate. Solve two problems at once!!!

JGr 3 years, 10 months ago

That probably isn't a possibility due to plan time written into the teacher contracts. It would solve the problem of instructional time, but then plan time would have to be given elsewhere.

3 years, 10 months ago

Good point.

Could teachers be allowed to conduct planning time flexibly before or after school hours? Just curious.

FieldTested 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's add a Saturday in April. Tacking on 5-6 minutes to the day satisfies the law, but does nothing to increase student learning. And extending the school year disrupts summer schedules, as well as extending the school year into a time much more likely to incur added expense to cool the schools.

BillybobThorten 3 years, 10 months ago

Nope. No Saturday. Just do the Wednesday extension like mentioned above

lunchlady 3 years, 10 months ago

The bottom line is safety first. If school has to be closed to ensure the safety of staff and children that should be the main concern and concentration. Wind chills need to be taken in to consideration for the children waiting at the bus and the children that walk.

domino 3 years, 10 months ago

Olathe school closed tomorrow for that very reason.

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

I think that the schools that don't have drive ways should be considered too. My kids have to get out on the street and then walk through the snow to get to the sidewalk. Not to mention that anything that has melted will be frozen again in the morning making for a slick walk to school for many kids and the windchills are gonna be super cold too.

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

It may be a learning experience, but it can also be dangerous. Who is responsible if my kid falls and breaks her arm on the ice in front of the school? Me or the school district??

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

Actually yes, my kids haven't been outside since school has been out. It's too cold.

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

My kids stay in because they have health issues that the cold only aggravates. They don't go outside at school when it's this cold. It has to 15 degrees or warmer for them to go out at school and even then mine stay in. As far as finacial difficulties, that is not the issue...

mom_of_three 3 years, 10 months ago

It was a nice sunny day out, but it was still too cold for kids to be out for any length of time. My teens and i took turns shoveling the driveway, but after ten minutes, we were popsicles. And I have news for Der. Doll, THE SIDESTREETS ARE NOT CLEAR

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree. We haven't even seen a snow plow in our neighborhood yet, but hey it shouldn't be a problem to get out right? I think they should drive every street in Lawrence and not just those on the west side of town, that get plowed first.

Nikki May 3 years, 10 months ago

East side here. And plowed. And my kids have both been outside. In fact, I wanted them out at least to get some air. All this staying inside isn't good for them either.

Bobbi Reid 3 years, 10 months ago

However, I do agree with making up the time on Wednesdays because even the teachers think it's a waste of time at the end of the day to add 5 minutes..Nothing can be taught in that time.

dennisr 3 years, 10 months ago

Wednesday is a very logical solution. Plus the district needs to start looking at how many scheduled days off there are in the middle of winter. Maybe take a few of those away! You know school is out too often when your children start complaining about the fact they don't have school...yet again another day. This is above and beyond the snow days, because I do agree that safety must come first and foremost.

I just feel there are too many scheduled days off that the district should take advantage of, along with eliminating "early-out" on Wednesdays. It could serve as a money-saving venture as well. If "early-out" was eliminated, the school year could be shortened, saving on the district's utiitiy bills and busing expenses just to name a few.

3 years, 10 months ago

We've only been here a year and a half, when did the early releases start?

ForThePeople 3 years, 10 months ago

I totally agree! If the early Wednesdays were eliminated, then all the other days wouldn't be such a big deal. I do feel that they have way too many scheduled days off, particularly for winter break....one week is sufficient.

Nikki May 3 years, 10 months ago

I have a kid that's begging to go back too. The rate we are going with all the things scheduled and these snow days, February might as well have been a vacation month.

LadyJ 3 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully they won't do every other Wednesday like they did in the beginning, it was hard to remember which Wednesday it was.

Mike Wagner 3 years, 10 months ago

I would like to see wasted Wednesdays stop being wasted! I have had 2 children that have already graduated and have a seventh grader still in the system, I have never liked the short day on Wednesdays! As a single parent that works a full time job it has been a major pain trying to cordinate transportation!!

Alceste 3 years, 10 months ago

So the PRIMARY reason "...wasted Wednesday's..." are "wasted" is because you're faced with coordinating transportation? Bluntly, that's not a very good reason and it underscores just how many "parents" rely on schools to function as a baby sitter first and a place to educate second. Way to go, bigmike.....

Another great example of this are TWO parent households where ONLY the female has anything to do with Johnnie and Jannie and school: "I HAVE to leave work early in order to pick up my children from school" says the Mommy. "Is there anyway another member of your family (HUSBAND) might be able to go fetch the urchins? You're needed here at your job Ms. Smith....". Hahahahahahhahaahhaahah

Trying axing that question to a staff person when you is the boss and see what goes on.

Here is another one: "Mr. BossMan: I am late everyday to work because I HAVE to take my children to school!!!!" Say the BossMan: "Ms. Smith: Is there anyway that perhaps another family member might be able to taxi your urchin?"

Still another is: "Mr. BossMan: I am late everday to work because I am avoding all that school traffic". Say the BossMan: "Perhaps, Ms. Smith, you might want to leave your house earlier each day?" To which the compliant staff person states "And what? Be EARLY for work?????? You are joking, Mr. BossMan, right?"

hahahahahahahahahahahha.....Welcome to the Peoples Republic of "Equal Rights".

hahahahahahahahahahahaa

Alceste 3 years, 10 months ago

Kansas (Lawrence included) children are so far behind with respect to their performance (educationally) when compared to other places, what's the big deal? Let's just forget the "lost" days. They wouldn't have accomplished much anyway.....

Run4More 3 years, 10 months ago

I feel my children are receiving a quality education. It just concerns me it is being accomplished with so much time off during the school year.

Alceste 3 years, 10 months ago

Really? You "feel" it or you THINK it. Big difference. That's the deal with Lawrence and it is a MAJOR short coming: TOO MUCH FEELING. NOT ENOUGH THINKING. shrug

Run4More 3 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I know it. I see it. I can't speak for all students and all families, but my children are receiving a quality education. BUT we don't expect the school system to do it all either! We work with our children at home, enforce rules for a learning environment at home as well as at school. We can't expect the school system to do it all. If we do....yes our children will suffer from our lack of involvement.

If school is in session, my children are there unless they are ill, which is very seldom. We aren't one of those families where our children have an extra week to 10 days of days off because they take their children out to go skiing, or on a long vacation, that should have been scheduled during the "scheduled" days off the district has posted well over a year in advance.

We parents, have to do OUR part too!

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Have a seat Alceste, gonna drop a mearurable figure on you. Kansas students averaged 22 on the ACT which is a college placement test last year.

Which state is Kansas behind mi amigo?

Take a bow Kansas teachers!

3 years, 10 months ago

This is not an argument, but according to http://www.act.org/news/data/10/states.html?utm_campaign=cccr10&utm_source=data&utm_medium=web, we rank behind:

Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, Delaware, Washington, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, California, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Alceste 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you very much, jnovinger. Wissmo, let me DROP a "measurable figure" on YOU relative to just how poorly Kansas fares with respect to how we choose to not educate our youth (data acquired from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/your-child-left-behind/8310/ and also http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/11/your-child-left-behind/66069/ ).

When looking at the % of students performing at the advanced level in math proficiency, Kansas weighs in at an incredibly high (NOT!!) 5.2% which is BEHIND stellar Nations such as Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, etc., etc., etc.

Yessireebobcat tail, we got us a fine education system here in these here parts and our youth know how to go to the mall, play football, blah, blah, blah.

We're gonna get just what we deserve, too.

Oh...ya know which nation is first on that list? Taiwan closely followed by Honk Kong, Korea, Finland, etc. Minnesota is the first USA state to appear with respect to this statistic, and, trust me, Kansas is WAY BACK on the list. See for yourself if you're not too busy patting yourself on the back for no reason whatsoever.

SAT and ACT are jokes. This is the real world.

GardenMomma 3 years, 10 months ago

I hope they just extend the school year by a extra day.

Randall Barnes 3 years, 10 months ago

UHHHH hello at my job as well as many other places we work on saturday.what is wrong with scheduling make up days on a saturday. ohhh wait lawrence is raising a bunch of wimps.

students cant say the pledge coaches cant discipline players on and on

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Have a seat Alceste, gonna drop a measurable figure on you. Kansas students averaged 22 on the ACT which is a college placement test last year.

Which state is Kansas behind mi amigo?

Take a bow Kansas teachers!

blahblahblah 3 years, 10 months ago

Uhh, don't students score an 18 (out of a possible 36) if they spell their names correctly? I'm not sure that a 22 will get any student admitted to a private university. Let's praise mediocrity.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

blah.......The score of 22 is the average Kansas high school students scored last year. No, 22 is not writing your name, in fact will get you into KU. To score a 22 suggests the student has a good understanding of Mathematics and Science. Guess those creationists Science teachers libs imagine behind every tree couldn't convince our youth.

The point is a poster blatantly lied for some reason about the quality of the Kansas Education System. (maybe ignorance and repeating what they heard) We can do better as a state too, but let's not put falsehoods out as fact.

Kansas has always put a high value on education and the fact people keep belching conservatives are anti education is silly.

I also get a big hoot out of the Kansas As Bigoted As You Think. Travel Kansas and check this stupid myth.

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