More snow days could impact school calendars

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Just when you thought it was okay to put away your window scrapers, Mother Nature has, hopefully, one last surprise for Western Wisconsin.

And it is not all about clearing off your car.

"We've already eaten within our calendar a little bit of this, we can plan for some of it, but just like everyone else, the winter has affected everybody not just us," said Dr. Thomas Hughes, the Superintendent in Chippewa Falls.

In the middle of April, there is worry about what a snow day could do to school calendars.

In Chippewa Falls, classes have already been extended to June 11th.
He says districts across the state are required to have kids in school for not just a certain number of days, but minutes too.

"You could walk in the door and turn right around and walk out, you'd get that day but you would be missing hundreds of minutes," Dr. Hughes added.

And so, meeting that quota means making days up. But at the start of summer, it is not that cut and dry.

"It makes summer plans hard, you know you have graduation, family coming, but I also don't wanna be on the road and don't want my kids on the road in those times," said Dawn Webb, a parent in the district.

"Especially if you have plane tickets sometimes they're non-refundable you know," said Gary Weber, who is a grandparent.

Students agree, too.

"I have my job so I won't be able to work full hours until later but our vacations aren't till June, so it doesn’t affect me that much," said
Ashley Zuckowski, a student in the district.

"It's gonna cut into my summer because it's less time you can spend doing all sorts of fun activities," said Hannah Shelby, a student in the district.

Dr. Hughes shares some of those concerns.

"Another thing is we can't start summer school on time and the third thing is, kids are ready for summer and the kids aren't learning anything," Dr. Hughes added.

And so the "snow day," once a cherished word, in the middle of April, suddenly takes on a different tone.

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