The Snoqualmie Valley school board wisely reversed its prior decision to cancel midwinter break to make up missed school days.
On the surface, the previous decision to make up four missed school days during the break rather than extending school into July seemed logical. However, more than 100 teachers have plans for the break and the district was only able to find 38 substitute teachers.
The reason our schools are excellent is because we have outstanding teachers who are supported by a team made up of: aides, specialists, office and kitchen staff, custodians, bus drivers, etc… They are all needed for quality learning to occur. Without the whole team, quality learning is impossible. Fortunately, the state made our dilemma easier by changing the law to allow our district to waive five of the missed days. This doesn’t mean that we are robbing our kids of five days of education. The state mandates that missed hours need to be made up if the amount of required teaching time is not met. The new law simply allows districts to make up the missed classroom time without making up whole days.
I certainly don’t want my girls to miss out on five days of quality teaching, so to me the answer seems simple: Add 30 minutes to each school day and pro-rate that time to all class periods until all five days (32.5 hours) are made up. This keeps the full compliment of teachers, support staff and students all together and will allow the missed time to be effectively made up.