Next time Superintendent Rick Doll cancels classes, his bosses on the Lawrence school board will be responsible for readjusting schedules for the district’s 11,000 students.
Their choice: either add minutes to remaining school days or lengthen the school year itself.
“The school board would make any decision about making up more time,” said Julie Boyle, the district’s director of communications. “The board would decide how to do that. In the past, they’ve decided to add minutes to the remaining days.”
Because the district had built two makeup days into its schedule for weather-related cancellations, the district gets another two “free” days to cancel classes without having to make them up.
So far this year, the district’s first two cancellation days — Jan. 10 and 11 — will be made up, as planned, April 15 and 29. The district’s Jan. 20 cancellation doesn’t need to be made up, nor does today's.
The fifth and any subsequent times weather would disrupt the class schedule, either for shortened days or outright cancellations, would mean making up that time by the end of the year.
That’s because the district is required to provide 1,116 hours of time in the classroom, and any lost time in the remaining schedule would leave the district short.
It’s up to board members to see that the standard is met.
“They’re responsible for seeing that we have the right amount of instructional time,” Boyle said.
Extending school days could mean adding a couple of extra minutes each day, Boyle said. The actual calculation would depend on how much time would need to be made up and how many days would be left in the schedule.