As we begin the development of the 2012-13 School Calendar, it’s important to revisit a potentially confusing issue. There are inevitably questions that arise from our use of built in “snow days” and make-up days.
Our calendar includes the number of instructional hours that we believe are necessary to support the best instructional environment for students. Because our calendar’s instructional hours are above the minimum required by the VA state law, we have said that we will “use” the overage to absorb days we miss instead of tacking them onto the end or making them up another way.
We aren’t actually adjusting the calendar at all for the first 5 missed days – we are simply saying that because we have extra instructional hours in our calendar, we can afford to miss 5 days without adding anything additional (extra days on the end, extra minutes to the day, etc.) or compromising our instruction for students.
So we really aren’t “banking” or “storing” extra time to use for missed days.We are building a calendar with the instructional hours we want, regardless of missed days. Then if we need to account for missed days, we say we can absorb 5 of them without adjusting the calendar.
What if we don’t miss 5 days due to weather? We won’t shorten the instructional year. We build our calendar with the number of hours we believe are necessary to provide students with the best education. We don’t build in extra hours in case snow comes – we simply understand that we have the extra hours to absorb 5 days. If we don’t need to absorb the 5 days, we will use them as originally planned – for instruction.