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Examiner
  • Independence School District hopes to avoid more snow days

  • With the cold weather setting in, students in the Independence School District might be wondering if any more days will be canceled due to snow, ice or even temperature.

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  • With the cold weather setting in, students in the Independence School District might be wondering if any more days will be canceled due to snow, ice or even temperature.
    But if Superintendent Jim Hinson gets his way, that will not be happening.
    “Right now we have missed eight days,” he said at the Independence Board of Education meeting Tuesday. “We hope that there are not any more missed days of school.”
    Hinson discussed the procedure for making up missed days because of inclement weather. Much like the rest of the school districts in Eastern Jackson County, Independence has missed eight days, all in the first two months of 2011. The only exception is Oak Grove, which has missed 11.
    According to the state statute on inclement weather days, after six missed days, only one day has to be made up for every two missed. That would mean that as of now, the last day of school for the Independence School District is June 1. All of the snow days have been built into the end of the year. The maximum amount of days a district has to make up is 10.
    Hinson said that will only change if the state legislature decides to “tweak” the statute during its 2011 session. He said with the amount of missed days increasing throughout the state, it would not surprise him if it was discussed.
    “There are schools south of us that have been out of school for two weeks,” he said. “A number of school districts are experiencing a significant amount of missed days. They could very well attempt to tweak the statute if they feel it is necessary.”
    Hinson said in addition to the challenge teachers have had with the lack of continuity the last few weeks, any more missed days will cause a problem for the district’s summer school program.
    “It certainly doesn’t help the summer school schedule,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the legislature to see if they take up the issues. We are not anticipating any changes to the first six days we have to make up, but they might do something to the number of days we have to make up after that.”
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