Richland schools come up with plan to make up for snow days

Snow day equals work or play

A snow day for many Tri-Citians became time spent clearing it or playing outdoors in the snow deposited by recent winter storms.
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A snow day for many Tri-Citians became time spent clearing it or playing outdoors in the snow deposited by recent winter storms.

Richland students will join thousands of other youngsters across the Tri-Cities in spending some late spring days in class to make up the time they missed because of snow.

The school district was the last to unveil its plans after canceling six days of classes in February. The proposal calls for having class on May 24 and June 12, 13 and 14.

“It’s our desire to make up as much of the lost time as possible, especially considering district goals for the needs of our low-income students, considering our emphasis on school attendance and considering the effect of higher standards and more content without more time in school,” Richland Superintendent Rick Schulte said in a memo to the school board.

Students generally need to meet a pair of state requirements by the end of the year: spend 180 days in school and an average of 1,027 hours in class.

While they can ask the state to waive the first requirement, they need to meet the second requirement. Schulte said the district is well on its way to reaching 1,053 hours in class by the end of the year.

RSD plow snow
A tractor outfitted with a snow plow blade clears the parking lot of Carmichael Middle School early Tuesday morning in Richland. The school district joined many others around the Mid-Columbia delaying their start of classes because of Monday’s snowfall that created slick roadways. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Districts can ask for a waiver for the first days lost during the state of emergency period covered by Gov. Jay Inslee — Feb. 8-15 — without any other requirements. They will need to make up the other days.

The district will ask for a waiver for two of the days.

High school students will still graduate on June 7.

The school board still needs to vote on a resolution to amend the district’s calendar on April 16.

Kennewick and Finley previously announced their plans to make up the remaining time.

What’s going on at the other school districts

Pasco: Pasco leaders settled on a familiar plan after missing eight days of class this year.

Students started making up the time by going to class on March 15. They will end up back in school on May 24, June 13 - 14. That was the plan officials started with before canceling school on March 12.

Chiawana and Pasco high school are still holding graduation on June 8.

Columbia: Columbia (Burbank) School District is making up all of the six days that students lost because of the bad weather.

Along with using their make-up day on May 24, students will be going to class on the week of June 10, with the last day of school on June 14.

Graduation isn’t moving from May 31, which will mean seniors will need to attend classes on four Saturdays — three in April and one in May, along with going to class on May 17 and 24.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.