State legislature passes school day forgiveness law requiring more built-in make-up days due to weather

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 10/9/19

During a Sept. 16 meeting at the Gasconade County R-2 Administration Building, the board of education chose not to take any action in the 2019-20 calendar to reflect the passage of Senate Bill 743 …

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State legislature passes school day forgiveness law requiring more built-in make-up days due to weather

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During a Sept. 16 meeting at the Gasconade County R-2 Administration Building, the board of education chose not to take any action in the 2019-20 calendar to reflect the passage of Senate Bill 743 requiring 36 make-up hours to be included for possible loss of attendance.

Superintendent Dr. Chuck Garner said the state changed the requirements for the make-up days/hours. They require at least 1,044 hours this year.

“We are trying to work this in because we go more than 1,044 hours,” Garner said. “We miss an average of 4.65 days a year.”

Garner provided board members with a graph reflecting the last 20 years of missed days due to inclement weather, from 1999 to 2019. Based on the district’s history, the fewest missed days is zero and the most is 12.

“A school district may be exempt from the requirement to make-up school lost or canceled due to inclement weather when the district has made up the required 36 hours and half the number of additional lost or canceled hours up to 48 hours, resulting in no more than 60 total make-up hours,” Garner said in his report. “The Commissioner of Education may provide, upon request, a waiver for any school district to be excused from the 1,044 hours of actual pupil attendance requirement.”

Gasconade R-2 already exceeds the minimum hour requirement, which gives them a certain amount of flexibility to forgive a portion of the missed days due to inclement weather.

Garner suggested a formula for students that included forgiving the first four days of missed classes. The fifth through the eight days would be made up at some point during the year. Any missed days after the ninth day would be forgiven and not made up.

Teachers would receive a separate formula for make-up days, but the first four days would be forgiven for them as well.

“Some schools go enough that they can forgive them all,” Garner said.

Garner asked the board if they wanted to revise the 2019-20 calendar to reflect the new requirement or simply give the new information to the next liaison group working on the 2020-21 school calendar.

The board consensus was to leave the 2019-20 calendar alone and work on the forgiveness days next year.

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