Snow Days Lead to Added Hours


Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

Although students and teachers enjoy snow days, this year they have erased needed hours for education. The school board made the decision on Feb. 18 to get rid of certain late start Mondays, as well as making the last day of school a full day for the high school and middle school students. 

Superintendent Dan Mart responded to the delay, “At a minimum students must have 1,080 hours of instruction per year. Because of the derecho and then we missed three snow days so far, and those hours add up.”

The School Board approved to change March 8, May 17 and May 24 from late start days to full school days. They decided to make these changes to the schedule instead of the alternative, going to school until June. 

There were some concerns that these changes would take away from the time that teachers needed to collaborate and plan for their curriculum. 

Mart assured that, “We took the two away in May because they [teachers]  have three full days of professional development in June so knowing that, they could wait and have that time three days later. “

The schools with the most missing hours are the elementaries.  Central and West had an extra day of planning before they went hybrid in the fall. The rest of the district was at school that day which means the elementary schools need to make up more hours than the rest. The school board has yet to decide what to do about their additional missing hours. 

Although these hours are required by the state, many argue that the North Polk School District has received more education than most schools in the area. This deals with the fact that the district rarely went online or hybrid.

High school principal Seth Poldberg responded to this, “Our face-to-face time is through the roof compared to some other places… It is kind of unfair but, this was the first year that the state of Iowa allowed for virtual days to count.”

Although the last day of school has been extended into a full day, Mart assures students, “We all know you don’t want to come back after Memorial Day. I would rather you be here for two or three more hours than have to see you on that Tuesday.”