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Examiner
  • Take a day here, make up a day there

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  • Kids throughout Eastern Jackson County had a second winter vacation of sorts due to this week’s snow.
    But will they regret these past five school-free days when they have to make them up at the end of the year... especially when it’s springtime, warm and sunny?
    The school year in Eastern Jackson County became a little longer as the result of Tuesday’s snow and frigid temperatures.
    As it stands, the last day of school in Blue Springs and Lee's Summit this school year would be May 28, after Memorial Day; Independence and Fort Osage's last day is May 29. Grain Valley is on May 21 since they started earlier than most on Aug. 14.
    A full school year in Missouri is 174 days or 1,044 hours by law, and according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a school year can be shortened only under two circumstances: Inclement weather forgiveness and inclement weather make-up days.
    Inclement weather forgiveness happens when weather is predicted or actually becomes inclement to the degree that school officials determine to close early for the safety of the students, says DESE’s website. When the school closes early, those hours missed, whether all or some, will be forgiven.
    The second condition is inclement weather make-up days. All Missouri districts are required to incorporate six scheduled make-up days into its school calendar year. EJC school districts simply add the days missed at the end of the year. Essentially, a school district has to make up at most 10 days missed due to inclement weather. Once a district has more than six snow days, they only have to make up one day for every two days missed after that, up to a maximum of 10 days. Any other amendments made to the school calendar in Eastern Jackson County districts have to be approved by their respective school boards.
    All districts, except Lee’s Summit, have missed five days this school year because of the weather. Lee’s Summit has missed six days.
    But if you look at the Independence or Fort Osage school calendar, you may notice students are already scheduled to be off school next week as well.
    Independence will have no class on Feb. 13 and 14 due to teacher professional development days, plus an early release day on Feb. 12. Fort Osage has the 14th off for the same reason. 
    And all EJC districts are out of school Monday, Feb. 17, for President’s Day.
    Christina Medina and Stephanie Smith, Independence and Fort Osage’s communication specialists, say their districts are following their respective calendars as planned. Plus future holidays in EJC districts, such as spring break, will remain unchanged since this week’s snow days were already incorporated in the school calendars.
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