Logansport students will have a longer school day from Feb. 17 until April 30 in an effort to make up snow days.
Michele Starkey, superintendent of Logansport School Corp., asked school board members to approve the addition of one hour to each school day during Monday’s meeting.
“We don’t have a lot of options but the goal is to optimize instructional time,” Starkey said.
The State Board of Education requires 180 days of instructional time, but Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz recently offered schools options for making up school days. One of the options is longer school days where one hour added to six school days would make up for one school day.
“This has been a trying winter, and it’s not over yet,” Starkey said.
Logansport schools have missed a total of 11 days because of the prolonged winter. State officials waived two of the missed days and one will be made up by attending school on Presidents’ Day. The remaining eight will be made up with the longer school days approved Monday.
Having the extra time before ISTEP+ testing will help the students, she said.
The State Board of Education has added an extra week to the window for ISTEP+ testing, making it March 3 to March 21.
The change in schedule will come at no extra cost to the schools, but administrators might look at adding an afternoon snack for students, Starkey said.
The implementation of an extended school day will mean the school won’t have to hold classes on Saturdays or change the date of graduation again, Starkey said. Graduation is now scheduled for Sunday, June 8.
Board members asked what the impact for parents and after-school activities would be with the additional hour. Starkey pointed out the winter weather had affected many Indiana schools that will be facing similar issues. Starkey said she has talked with athletic director Greg Fisher who said schools are looking at similar options and activities may start later.
“This will allow us to get started [making up time lost],” Starkey said.
Board Vice President Jeff Smith said it makes sense to make up the time now instead of “tacking it on the end of the school year.”
Another board member asked if the schools will be getting any more waivers. Starkey said the state said additional waivers won’t be given out but gave additional options such as extended school days.
Board members voted 5-0 to approve the amended calendar. Starkey will be able to return to the board to make changes to the conditional waiver as the winter continues.
Starkey said she talked to other school superintendents to share ideas on how to handle the necessary make-up time. Decisions from other area schools are expected in the future.