School week set to change

Aiming to avoid added school days in summer, the Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors approved calendar changes last week that make use of early-release Fridays.

Students will go to school for full days on Fridays from Friday, Jan. 30 through Friday, April 3, as part of schedule changes made at the Thursday, Jan. 22 board meeting.

The district has lost eight days so far this year due to bad weather: two days in November due to flooding, three from December snows and three in January from more flooding.

A decision by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire allow Snoqualmie schools to waive up to six days due to weather, but the district must provide a minimum of 1,000 hours of contact time between students and teachers.

Extending Fridays through April allows the district to make up three days of instruction and meet the 1,000 hours of contact time.

Currently, after-school hours on Fridays are used for teacher preparation time. Board directors said the decision doesn’t reflect a desire to eliminate those teacher training days.

Board member Dan Popp said the plan reflects parent wishes and doesn’t extend the school year.”

“I like the plan a lot,” board member Marci Busby said. “Nobody will be shorted.”

Currently, the school year is slated to end Wednesday, June 24.

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