Dear Ferndale Community,
I am sure everyone is anxious to find out what the school district is going to do about making up snow days. Our central office administrators met Tuesday, February 14, to review pertinent laws and regulations and to begin to lay out options. Our next steps will be to meet with union leaders and to solicit input from others who will be impacted by schedule changes.
Here is what we know so far:
- Ferndale Schools were closed six (6) days in December and five (5) days in February for a total of eleven days (11).
- The state requires every school district to provide educational programming to students on 180 separate days – with a few exceptions. When inclement weather or other emergencies require school districts to close for multiple days, they can request up to three (3) waiver days, thus shortening the student school year to 177 days.
- Ferndale applied for and was granted two (2) waiver days in December. We have recently applied for a third waiver day. If we get the third waiver day, we still need to make up eight (8) of the eleven (11) missed days.
- Monday, January 30, was originally scheduled as a non-school day to give teachers time between semesters to compute grades and prepare for new classes. We turned January 30 into a school day to make up one of the missed days. That takes the number of days to be made up down to seven (7).
- The last day of school was originally scheduled for Friday, June 16. On the district calendar, however, the five (5) days in the following week, June 19-23, were designated as snow make-up days. We will definitely need to run classes all of that third full week in June.
- That still leaves two (2) more days to be made up. There are three options for making them up: (1) push the end of the school year into the final week of June, finishing on Tuesday, June 27, instead of Friday, June 23; (2) run two days of school during Spring Break, reducing the time off from nine (9) consecutive days, including two weekends, to five (5) consecutive days; or (3) hold school on two Saturdays in the spring. We believe these are the only options that will meet all legal requirements.
- We are willing to enact any of the three options. We suspect preferences will vary. Our goal is to enact the option that works best for the most students, families, and staff.
- We are still planning to maintain the scheduled graduation dates at both high schools, even though we know this will require some special circumstances for seniors.
We will keep you posted as the decision-making process progresses. In the meantime, thank you for your patience.
Superintendent Linda Quinn