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Superintendent News & Views-Gladbrook-Reinbeck Announces Makeup Days

February 28, 2019
By David Hill, Gladbrook-Reinbeck Superintendent , Reinbeck Courier

This has been an unprecedented year of extreme weather, with twelve canceled days of school and a total of 86.62 hours of school missed as of my submission of this article to the newspapers on February 25.

Most adults that grew up in Iowa can probably remember one or two especially bad years from when they were kids. I don't recall the year, but I do remember attending school on a Saturday once back in elementary school in order to make up missed days. I also recall missing thirteen days of school due to weather during my early years as a principal. But all of those memories were under the "old" system when instructional days were counted differently.

A few years back, Governor Branstad signed a new law that allowed schools to count instructional HOURS (instead of days) with a minimum of 1080 hours required for students in first grade through eleventh grade. Ever since that time, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck district's calendars have included approximately 1135 hours of instruction, allowing for about 55 hours of "cushion" to account for hours missed due to late starts, early dismissals, and for other reasons.

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I mentioned above that we've missed 12 days and a total of 86.62 hours of school so far this year. You may be wondering how this year compares to recent school years, since the law changed to allow for the counting of hours: In 2017-2018, Gladbrook-Reinbeck had FOUR canceled days and ended the year on June 1 with 28.92 hours of cushion. In 2016-2017, we had FIVE canceled days and ended the year on June 6 with 45.5 hours of cushion. In 2015-2016, G-R had SEVEN canceled days and ended the year on June 3 with 25.34 hours of cushion.

We understand that people want to know when the last day of school will be. Families have travel plans, students have summer jobs and summer activities, and even teachers and staff need to be able to make plans for the conclusion of the year. Because this has been such an extreme year, the date of the last day of school has been a moving target a lingering uncertainty. At the February school board meeting, the board approved a plan to remove that uncertainty.

The last day of school for the 2018-2019 school year will be Friday, June 7. There will NOT be an early dismissal May 31 or on the last day of school.

School will now be in session on March 11 and April 22 (which were originally scheduled to be teacher professional development days), and on May 31 and June 3-7.

The adjusted calendar will restore a cushion of extra hours that will enable the district to conclude the school year without going into the second full week of June. In other words, if we have another snow day between now and then, we will NOT plan to make it up unless the cushion is completely exhausted again. This plan gives us a cushion of 25.52 hours as of this writing, so hopefully that will be sufficient.

You should note that under this plan, we will not be making up every day that has been missed to this point. As explained above, additional days that may be canceled after this writing will also not be made up unless the cushion of hours is completely exhausted. Teachers will report to work June 10, 11, and 12 and may work additional hours during the months of March, April, and May to make up missed teaching hours if additional cancellations occur. Our adjusted calendar will meet the instructional hours required by law and the number of work days in the teacher contract.

As always, I encourage your feedback on this column, along with any questions you may have. You are welcome to visit my blog at where you can read all of my columns and leave comments if you wish. You are also welcome to follow me on Twitter, where my handle is @DavidRobertHill.



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