Making up lost school days: Private v. Public schools

By KBJR News 1

February 5, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 10:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- Students in schools across the Northland have missed up to seven days of class so far this winter due to plummeting temperatures and large amounts of snow.

"It's been an extremely unique winter this year," said Superintendent of Proctor School District, John Engelking.

He says the state requires public schools to be in session 165 days of the year. Engelking says the district has factored in more school days, but students will still have to make up for one lost day.

"We have 169 days built into our schedule, which are four days more than what are required. So we are ok, but this last snow day put us over a day, so we will have to make up a day now," said Engelking.

Not only does closing school affect teachers and students, but also other faculty.

"Our staff that we depend on in food service, and our bus drivers; they are off those days and I'm well aware that this is taking a toll on their take home pay," said the Superintendent.

Other schools such as Marshall have taken the snow days and made them productive for faculty.

"We found the silver lining," said Kevin Breen, Head of School at Marshall School. "On some of the cold days we were able to bring in the faculty and talk about how learning is changing so we don't have to be so constrained by the school day."

So far, Marshall School has taken the same snow days as the public schools around Duluth, but since it is an independent school, administrators have the ability to decide whether to make up for lost days.

"We have 173 school days planned, we don't plan to add a day yet. If we encounter another cold snap, we'll see," said Breen.

Breen says he expects students and teachers to work together to make up for lost time.

Meanwhile, Duluth schools will discuss weather related closings at the Education Committee meeting on Tuesday ,February 11.

The Superior School District will talk with teachers about how to make up for the lost school days on Thursday.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.