Making up for lost time

School will be in session this Saturday for Trinity Lutheran High School students so they can make up all snow days before graduation in May.

Other area school corporations are choosing instead to have classes the week after graduation.

The Indiana Department of Education has yet to offer any alternative solutions to making up missed days. But local school officials hope there will be an option available that will prevent seniors from having to come back after they graduate.

A year ago, schools added an hour on to each school day to make up as many as 15 missed days. The state requires students to have 180 days of educational instruction each school year.

Seymour Community School Corp. plans to be in session April 3 and 6 and add six days at the end of the school year — May 26 to June 2 — to make up all of its missed days. That schedule was presented to school board trustees Tuesday night.

The district has canceled school nine times since the beginning of February due to snow, ice and cold temperatures and had two-hour delays on eight other occasions since November.

One day already was made up on Feb. 16.

Superintendent Rob Hooker said there’s really nothing the school system can do beside add on days at the end of the year until the state says it can do otherwise.

Graduation still will take place as scheduled on May 31; however, seniors will be required to come back June 1 and 2 to take their final exams.

“They would get their diplomas after they finish their finals,” Hooker said.

High school band students who will be traveling to Florida the first week of June to play at Disney World will have to take their finals before they leave, he added.

Hooker said he is hoping the department of education will once again allow schools to make up days by extending the school day.

He said a survey of Seymour teachers showed most are in favor of a plan that would add some days on at the end of the year and extend some school days but would keep students from having to return after Memorial Day.

“Our intention is to be done by graduation,” Hooker said.

The school board will make a final decision at a special meeting scheduled for April 7.

Trinity Lutheran High School has scheduled makeup days April 3 and 6 and May 1, but had one more day it needed to add.

Due to prearranged plans for spring break, Principal Dan Sievert said it was not an option to add a day then.

“Since we only have one day to make up, I feel it would be most wise to do this prior to graduation,” Sievert told parents in a letter sent home with students. “The idea of bringing everyone back on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, holding diplomas and other potential conflicts, would not be the best for our students, especially the seniors.”

The school decided its best option was to schedule a makeup day on a Saturday. This Saturday showed the highest probability of attendance, Sievert said.

“While there are some prior conflicts, including club volleyball and SAT testing, this Saturday is the only one without significant conflicts,” he said.

Those students signed up to take the practice SAT at the school Saturday morning will still be able to do so, he added.

For missing seven days of school because of the weather, students at Medora Community Schools will be going at least four days beyond the original last day for students — just as long as there’s no more snow.

After being out Feb. 19, 20 and 23 and March 5, school will be in session May 28 and 29 and June 1 and 2.

“Unless the state would come up with some type of relief like they did last year, those are the days we are going to use to make up the four days we missed,” Medora Superintendent Roger Bane said.

A missed day Nov. 17 was made up Jan. 19, while being out Feb. 17 and 18 will be made up April 24 and 27.

The last day of school was supposed to be May 27. Graduation is still set for 7:30 p.m. May 29.

Medora also had seven two-hour delays and one early dismissal, but those don’t have to be made up.

“As bad as the weather was, I think this is excellent,” Trustee John Hughes said of the school’s makeup plan.

Bane and board President Joe Campbell both praised Scott Irwin, who works in maintenance at the school, for removing snow from the school grounds.

“If the roads would have been as clear as the sidewalks, we wouldn’t have missed a day,” Bane said.

“He did a fantastic job,” Campbell added.

“Hopefully, that’s over for this year,” Irwin responded.

At a glance

Scheduled makeup days for area schools

Seymour Community Schools — April 3 and 6; May 26 to 29; June 1 and 2; graduation will still be May 31

Brownstown Central — April 3, 10 and 13; May 26 to 29; graduation is May 23

Crothersville — April 6, May 1 and 26 to 29; graduation will be May 22

Medora — April 24 and 27; May 28 and 29; June 1 and 2; graduation will be May 29

Trinity Lutheran High School — March 14; April 3 and 6; May 1; graduation will be May 23

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.