WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Making Up Snow Days in Iowa

Feb 14, 2014

The harsh winter means some local students will be in school longer than anticipated.

Illinois school districts with too many weather-related cancelations can request a waiver to avoid making up those extra days.

The "Act of God" waiver must be approved by both the Regional School Superintendent and the State School Superintendent.

Such a waiver is not an option in Iowa.

Iowa Department of Education spokesman Jim Flansburg says districts can add "snow days" to their annual school calendar.

He says once those are used, though, any extra days off must be replaced with a full day in session.

"We are very sympathetic to the school districts because we, ourselves, have to go through that as human beings as well," says Flansburg, "but according to what the legislature has put down in our laps, it has got to be days, not adding hours, and there certainly cannot be any waivers."

An example of this is the Central Lee School District, which is located along Highway 2 near Donnellson.

The district has canceled classes three times this year due to snow or ice.

Superintendent John Henriksen says the district does not include "snow days" in its calendar, based on past practice, so classes have now been scheduled for May 27-29.

He says this will not affect graduation because seniors do not have to make up "snow days."

Districts do not have to make up the time they lose during "two-hour delays," which Henriksen says Central Lee has used about a half-dozen times this year.

Central Lee
"snow days" in calendar - 0
days canceled - 3
school year extended - May 27-29

West Burlington
"snow days" in calendar - 1
days canceled - 3
school year extended - May 26-27

Fort Madison
"snow days" in calendar - 0
days canceled - 3

"snow days" in calendar - 3
days canceled - 3