Written By Ana Orlowsky
These past few months have shown unprecedented amounts of snow for the northwestern United States. Students may rejoice as they groggily look at their phones to find they can head back to bed, there came a point when worry over what the weather meant for instructional time started to replace that joy. With nine snow days to make up for Forest Grove, School District was left with the difficult task of making those days up, they needed to do this in order to keep in accordance with the required instructional time for the state of Oregon, with a plan being devised to the chagrin of students.
The Oregon Department of education has decreed that the minimal amount of instructional time a student may receive are as follows, twelfth graders need 966 hours, eleventh through ninth graders need 990 hours, and kindergarten through eighth graders need 900 hours of school. There are only 14 hours of school closure allocated to various emergency situations. If there is a situation similar to what Forest Grove School District had where the schedule wasn’t designed to make up for more than two cancellations, there is an option to ask for a waiver from the board of education. According to Koin, “The board passed the waiver for up to 14 hours of instructional time,” (Oregon Board of Ed. Waives 14 Instructional Hours). The board of education passed the waiver, making sure to emphasize class time in doing so. Leading to school districts to have to make alterations to their school calendars.
Resulting in Forest Grove School District eliminating late start, a scattering of days we had off, and further extending the school year. Late start is a favorite to all students, as it means an extra hour of sleep or an extra hour to stay up. Not only was late start fun for students, but it was used as staff development hours. It is not clear how the district plans on meeting the required thirty hours of staff development. Even with these cutbacks, the school district had to add a couple days to the end of the school year. Fortunately for seniors, these additional days at the end of the school year does not affect the graduation date for the 2017 year, as they are required to have less instructional hours, senioritis is a major problem. No matter how much the students object to the additional school, that is just the price to be paid for having over nine snow days off. The school district did what they saw fit to keep in accordance with the guidelines set by the Oregon Board of Education.