The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

February 7, 2014

Editorial: Students must learn even when it snows

Longing for that spring break trip to a warmer climate? How about getting your teenager that weekend job that begins in May or June?

If you're like any other parents in this county, you're on edge waiting for a decision by your school district concerning makeup days for all the classes missed during the recent blizzards.

Looks like it's a day-by-day, district-by-district and waiver-by-waiver decision in making sure students have 180 days of instructional time.

So far, we do know that the State Board of Education has extended the window for administering ISTEP+ testing. The exams are administered annually to third- through eighth-grade students and cover English, math, science and social studies.

Here's how some Indiana schools have started to address the makeup days:

The applied skills portion of the tests will run from from March 3 through March 21. Also ISTEP's I-READ 3 testing will be from March 17 through March 21, allowing two more days of testing for third-graders.

But what about those extra days? Looks like we may all have to readjust plans — or tell our our kids that it's OK to skip classes in order to frolic in the sun.

-- Brown County Schools is postponing high school graduation to mid-June.

-- White River Valley schools is pondering whether to convene school on Saturdays.

--- And in Anderson, well, the school district's website notes, "If school has not been cancelled for weather or any other emergency, Spring Break will start Friday, March 21, 2014." We can't say they haven't warned us.

Families will complain no matter what decisions are made. Saturday school or a later school year will affect everyone's plans for summer jobs and summer trips. It's the age-old question: do teachers teach the kids that lessons are important or do parents teach that school's not all that critical.

Learning — and meeting state requirements — should be everyone's choice.

No one wants to give up a spring break. But it might be time for families to start collecting ideas for a stay-at-home vacation. Just in case.

In summary No one wants snow makeup days to affect vacations or jobs, but students need to be in classes for 180 days.

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