IONIA, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s only mid-February, but school districts across the state are hoping they won’t have many more snow days, especially a local district, which is now turning to parents to figure out how to make up a lot of missed classes.
So far this school year, Ionia Public Schools has canceled 18 days of class.
Not all of them were because of the weather though: two of the days were because of pipe issues at the middle school.
But despite the reasoning of the cancellations, Superintendent Ron Wilson says it’s an issue he hasn’t seen in years.
“When you think about 18 days like I mentioned earlier, you know, it’s almost a month of school that we’ve lost,” said Wilson.
For many days this school year, the hallways in Ionia Public Schools have been empty.
“In my time as a superintendent, I’ve never had these many days out,” said Wilson.
Wilson says now they’re figuring out how to make up all of those missed days.
“We sent a survey out to parents and staff yesterday and we’ve given them until Wednesday the 19th, next week, to go ahead and weigh in and that’ll help inform our decision,” said Wilson.
Right now the district has to make up a total of twelve days, being that it gets six freebies from the state.
Wilson says they’re also trying to get three additional days excused. If approved, students would still have to make up a total of nine days of school.
“I’m just fearful that we’re going to go and the kids aren’t going to get much of a break for the summer,” said Stacey Diebel, an Ionia School District parent.
Diebel has three kids in the district. She thinks adding extra time to each school day is the best bet.
“I’m definitely for adding minutes to the school day, adding half days,” said Diebel.
Tiffany Coby, another parent in the district, doesn’t mind extra days at the end of the year, but also doesn’t think they’ll be too productive.
“Kids are checked out pretty much after Memorial weekend so adding on, I’m not sure how much production they should get out of those kids from that,” said Coby.
But regardless of the decision made, both parents say they’re glad Superintendent Wilson is letting them have a say.
“That means a lot to me that we’re able to give our feedback and that he thinks getting the parents feedback on that is important,” said Diebel.
“He’s very much involved in our school system and our parents and really wanting to know and I respect that,” said Coby.
Once the school survey closes on Wednesday, the district will take parent’s opinions into account on how it’ll handle all of the make-up days.
Then later in the week, school officials plan to contact parents about the plan moving forward.