School cancellations for cold weather extend the school year

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ELEVA, Wis The arctic blast has many kids staying home from school again tomorrow. And while that gives students another day off this week, it will mean another day of school this spring for many districts

The state mandates districts have 180 days or at 1,137 hours of instruction in their calendars.

The School District of Eleva-Strum has two built in snow or cold days in their calendar. But thanks to the extreme cold this winter the district has already had to cancel school four times in the month of January.

"I think that the students accept it, the parents accept it. It's much easier going into the summer than it is to have students come to school on a dangerously cold day like today,” said Eleva-Strum Superintendent Craig Semingson.

"The decision to cancel school is probably one of the most difficult decisions. It affects so many families," he added.

Semingson says the safety of students always comes first though.

“With this kind of extreme cold we worry about students walking to school, students waiting for a school bus and chances that a bus breaking down is much greater when its these type of temperatures,” he said.

But every decision has its after effects.

“When you have two or three or four days off those curriculum areas those lessons aren’t being taught. We have to put them in someplace. “We either have to condense the curriculum and add them someplace. Maybe a flipped classroom where they watch videos or do something outside the classroom,” said Semingson.

For social studies teacher Chad Hanson, a missed day of school means his class calendar shifts a little.

“I just push it backs a day. So what we were supposed to do today we do tomorrow,” Hanson said.

He says it's a small price to pay to make sure students stay safe.

School is cancelled at Eleva-Strum again Tuesday. The district will have to make up two at the end of the year now.

Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire School Districts say they will have to make up missed days too.