LAWTON, Okla._Lawton Public Schools have officially used up all of their snow days for the school year. But officials say this should not put a damper on any vacation plans.
Friday, the district announced that the school year will not be extended and spring break will not be canceled. The school district had eight snow days built into the school year, six from adding extra minutes to each day and the two inclement weather days were already planned. And they already have a plan in place in case they need to take another day off for inclement weather.
Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Jamie Polk said spring break was never in jeopardy. The decision to create a longer school day and build a larger bank of snow days was made after the ice storm of 2007.
"We actually ran out of days and we went two Saturdays to make up. That's why the additional minutes, or the consideration to add minutes, to the day [were added] so that we would not foresee doing Saturday school," said Dr. Polk.
A question parents may have is how does missing this many days affect a child that may have to take a benchmark test this spring.
"Teachers have hit the ground running to ensure that students are where they need to be. We are fortunate to have extended day, students come before and after school. Teachers are sending home additional assignments," explained Polk.
She said they've looked at some recent scores and it seems that the district is right on track but there is no way to determine how it will affect the outcome of these tests.
"We know students need to be in school, they need to be in school and that's why the decision to call off school is a hard one because you have to take that into consideration. We need them to be in school however we need them to be safe," said Polk.
The district also faces a dilemma in regards to Eisenhower Elementary, because those students missed an additional day due to a broken water main. Polk said they believe they can make up that day by extending class time by five minutes.
"In regards of looking at five minutes a day opposed to being in school a complete day is not the same. However, it is one way we ensure we meet state guidelines, that's most crucial at that particular time," said Polk.
Though it seems unlikely but not unheard of, since we are in Oklahoma, if we were to have another snow day between now and the end of the school year, they would have to add even more time district wide.
Polk said a decision will be made about adding minutes to Eisenhower Elementary's schedule after a proposal is made to the State Department of Education. If they do add minutes, it will be at the start of the final nine weeks, which starts after spring break.