ROSEMOUNT, Minn. (FOX 9) - School districts across Minnesota are scrambling to make up days in the classroom after so many weather-related cancellations.
There's legislation in the works to amend the calendar and give districts some flexibility when it comes to meeting state law requirements this year.
Parents picking up their kids outside East Lake Elementary School in Rosemount are split on a decision made by the school board Monday night to turn Friday April 19, during the Easter weekend, into a normal school day to make up lost time from snow cancellations.
“I was bummed that we had to make it up,” said Amanda Hirning, a parent. “I kind of feel like we shouldn’t have to make it up."
“I think it’s a great idea to use one of the days that we are off already and not extend the school year, so I’m totally happy with it,” said Katie Gilmore, a parent. “My kids don’t know the difference and we’re just going to keep on keeping on.”
District 196 is among many in the state trying to figure out how to meet state law requirements that students attend at least 165 days of instruction.
“We think it’s more valuable instructional time in April as opposed to adding days at the end of the school year,” said Tony Taschner, District 196 Communications Director.
Since late January, District 196 has canceled school five times. Other areas, like Rochester, have closed school nine times this year. Republican Senator Carla Nelson from Rochester has introduced a bill that gives administrators more flexibility to make up these additional days and still be compliant with state law.
“For this one year, I want school boards to have the local control if they need to,” said Sen. Nelson. “There is a requirement though that is they have to notify the Department of Education Commissioner about how many days they shortened and then they must seriously consider e-learning days in the future.”
FOX 9 checked in with Minneapolis and Saint Paul school districts. Minneapolis says they have a longer calendar than most districts and should be fine. St. Paul is weighing its options on days to convert.