Snow day recalculation is good news for students

Ample instructional time means no make-up days needed in PW-S District
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington-Saukville School District administrators thought they had built three snow days into the school calendar.

But after the district cancelled classes on four days during a recent eight-day period, administrators did a little math and discovered that there are actually four full inclement weather days in the calendar.

That should come as good news to students who will not have to make up that fourth day of cancelled classes by going to school on a scheduled day off.

The confusion stemmed from a change in the way the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction measures instructional time. The department used to require districts to provide a minimum of 180 days of instruction a year, but then changed the requirement to a number of hours — 1,137 for middle and high school students and 1,050 for elementary school students — which equates to less than 180 days.

When the change was made, the Port Washington-Saukville School District didn’t decrease its instructional time.

“We thought 180 days was a good measure of the amount of instructional time we should be providing during a school year,” Supt. Michael Weber said. 

Administrators hadn’t been overly concerned about snow days because until recently they had been few and far between.

Then came January.

The district, like other school systems in the area, cancelled classes on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and Monday, Jan. 28, because of snow. Students returned to classes for a day before schools were again closed on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, this time because of arctic temperatures.

But with a lot of winter left, administrators know they’re not out of the woods yet. If the district closes schools again, it would most likely make the day up by having classes on Friday, March 1, which is a scheduled day off for students and staff members, Weber said.

“The hope is we don’t need to do that, but we don’t hav


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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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