State education officials offer schools chance to write off 2 snow days


Snow plow operators were busy digging out the front parking lots of Harris Elementary and Greenfield Intermediate schools Wednesday. Classes have not yet resumed after Christmas break. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

Greenfield-Central High School head custodian Willie Tutrow vacuums the auditorium floor on Wednesday. Although classes were set to resume on Monday after a two-week break, the snowstorm on Sunday and freezing cold ushered in on Monday have kept schools closed this week. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

NEW PALESTINE — No school, no problem.

That is how one mother of three elementary-aged children sees it. While Jill Jones admits her three children are getting a little “stir crazy” with the cancellation of classes at Sugar Creek Elementary School for the fourth straight day after a two-week break, Jones has been keeping them busy with homemade lessons.

“Parents are responsible for their kids’ education anyway,” Jones said.

It’s one of the reasons she has no problem with Southern Hancock schools’ decision to apply for a waiver to not make up two days schools lost to the winter storm this week. All four county superintendents intend to apply for the waiver after the Indiana Department of Education offered Tuesday to write off two instructional days because of the heavy snow and historically low temperatures this week. DOE officials said late Wednesday they would not extend the offer beyond two days.

For now, the 2013-14 school year will be 178 days for districts that accept the waivers and elect to not make up the snow days. For years, 180 instructional days has been the benchmark, a figure that past administrations had set virtually in stone amid sweeping reforms designed to improve student performance.

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