Will Rochester Public Schools Students Need To Make Up Snow Days?
You've probably noticed that we have had a ton of snow drop in Minnesota this winter. I feel like my kids have been home at least once a week because of snow days, which they are loving, but it makes life a little bit challenging for parents. I know because...I am one of those parents. If Mother Nature continues to throw her winter weather in our direction, it is possible that a make up day will be required for Rochester Public Schools. See the district's statement below.
Snow Days Are A Battle That No One Is Going To Win...and Rochester Parents and Caregivers Made That Obvious This School Year
I think one thing that we've learned this year though is that snow days are one of those battles that no one is going to win. People are going to think that Rochester Public Schools is the worst if they call a snow day or if they don't call a snow day. That has been very evident this year with the way the Rochester Public Schools staff have been treated by parents and caregivers. I do think the current superintendent has been doing a great job communicating to families and below are a few of the best announcements I've shared during my show on Y-105FM:
- Unique (and Adorable) Snow Day Announcement Made By Minnesota School
- And the video that has gone viral - Hilarious Video About Rochester's Snow Day Fail
Will Rochester Students Need To Make Up Any Snow Days This Year?
My kids and I were actually just looking at the Rochester Public Schools calendar for the year to see if there were any makeup snow days planned just in case we end up having too many snow days. Seems like I may not be the only parent wondering this question because an e-mail showed up in my inbox today with details on possible make-up days just in case Mother Nature decides to throw a fit again.
Canceling school for inclement weather is a difficult decision. As we consider whether or not to call a snow day, the safety of our students and staff is at the forefront of every decision we make.
As of today, Friday, March 3, RPS has had six snow days. Per our calendar approved by the School Board, this means that we will be able to hold one more snow day without adding additional days to the calendar during the current school year. If we subsequently need to add one or more additional snow days, we will need to add days to the school year to make up missed class time, in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Education. If an 8th snow day is called during the 2022-2023 school year, an additional day of school will be held on June 8, 2023. That additional date was selected by the superintendent following collaboration with the leadership of the Rochester Education Association.
What happens if there are additional snow days?
Our district builds in additional instructional hours to our annual school calendar above and beyond what is required by State Statute, that is why we have the “free” snow days. When multiple snow days occur within a school year, the superintendent has the right to recommend that the RPS School Board add additional days to the calendar to make up for lost instructional time. Those added days must be held before June 30th.
Why Doesn't Rochester Public Schools Offer E-Learning Days Instead of Snow Days?
You may have noticed when school closings are announced on our app that some of the surrounding school districts offer e-learning days. Rochester Public Schools realizes that this has been a question parents have been wondering lately as well and below is their response:
Many have asked why e-learning is not an option for RPS.
District Administration, in partnership with the REA, has discussed the possibility of e-learning days but RPS has not pursued an e-learning plan for two reasons.
When considering our teachers, the alteration of lesson plans that an e-learning day requires impacts the progression of learning that is pivotal to the high quality teaching occurring in our classrooms.
When considering our students, our middle and high school students bring home their District supplied devices, but our elementary students do not bring their devices to and from school. RPS acknowledges that a number of these elementary students do not have access to devices at home that would allow them to complete e-learning coursework.
District Administration and REA are participating in conversations about how RPS can successfully implement an e-learning plan in future years.
As always, we make our decisions based on what is best for students. While we hope for no additional snow days, we do live in Minnesota. Our current plan is to follow the calendar as originally approved by the School Board. If changes were to occur, we will communicate those changes with families and staff.