The Dell Rapids School Board approved changes to the 2019-2020 calendar during their regular meeting on Monday, April 8th. The changes to the calendar are to have built-in snow days to help alleviate adding more days to the end of the school year.
The school sent out a survey asking parents if they would be in favor of having built-in snow days in the school calendar, and if so, what days would be the best for built-in snow days.
“I have to be honest though, those who are against it are against it. I get it. People want to know what days they have off, staff and parents, but it was an overwhelming majority that did say please look at using built-in student contact days for making up snow days,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz. She noted that 86% of those that submitted the survey were in favor for built-in snow days.
After a discussion about a plan, school board member Troy Randall made a motion to forgive the first snow day of the year, and then have February 17th, March 19th, and April 13th of 2020 be the built-in make-up days given there is at least one week’s notice prior to needing to use one of those days as a make-up day.
One of the biggest items discussed about the motion was if one week’s time was enough notice for parents when deciding to use one of the built-in snow days.
“We could get a lot of heat. We could get a lot of complaints, and next year at this time we make it two weeks,” said Dr. Schultz.
“I guess we won’t know until we try it,” added school board member Jacque LeBrun in response to Dr. Schultz.
“There could be complaints about this, there could be complains if we have days at the end (of the school year). Inevitably it’s not perfect for everybody,” said school board member Jeff Traill.
Jody Schumaker then seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.
Dr. Schultz mentioned during the meeting that this could be tried for the 2019-2020 school calendar and then revisited for the 2020-2021 to determine if it’s worth continuing.