The Ottumwa Courier

Education

March 13, 2013

Schools find ways to make up for snow days

Last day of instruction in Ottumwa is June 10

OTTUMWA — Some kids are thrilled to hear the phrase “snow day.” That excitement may dwindle when they find out school won’t end in May.

“Due to snow,” said Ottumwa school Superintendent Davis Eidahl, “the last day of student instruction will be June 10.”

It had originally been scheduled for an end date of May 31. It might have been even later than the June 10 date, but the school board decided to postpone a teacher training day in April, which will now be a normal day of instruction.

Between late starts, cancellations and shorter days, kids were getting an unsteady educational diet.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had a full, uninterrupted week of instruction,” Eidahl said. “That’s important.”

But so too is teacher development, the professional training that gives teachers the latest tools to bring back to the classroom in an effort to boost student achievement.

But there are some lessons for teachers that, with a bit of creative rescheduling, can be put off for a few months. The April professional development day will be pushed back to June 11 — the day after the last day for kids.

What about weather dates scheduled in anticipation of a snow day or three?

“We don’t have any snow days built into our calendar,” said Eidahl.

Some districts do, he acknowledged. For example, if there’s one snow day, they add it on to the end of the year. If there’s a second, they make Presidents’ Day a go-to-school day. Or they simply cancel spring break. In this district, he said, a number of Ottumwa employees have certain holidays off by contract. And stakeholders have said canceling spring break should be a last resort; Eidahl said suddenly doing so would be unfair to families that have plans.

In Eldon, the Cardinal school district says families with plans should call the school. At their most recent school board meeting, the decision was made to have a snow make-up day on April 1, which was going to be part of spring break. April 12 was going to be a professional development day at Cardinal but will now be a normal school day. The same is true for May 10.

The result of all this juggling at Cardinal? Students’ last day of school will be May 30 — and it’ll be an early dismissal day.

1
Text Only
Education
  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta color photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities

    OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns

    OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT picture Bracelets -M -T Caring Kids

    OTTUMWA — Five fourth-graders didn't need grownups to show them it feels good to help others. They found out firsthand. "I wanted to do a project with the bracelets I make. And it's better to help people than to just do a random project," Kennedy Hug

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0410 OTT Fairfield business students photo color Fairfield students proving to be future leaders

    FAIRFIELD — At Fairfield High School, students interested in making a career in a business-related field have the chance to join the Fairfield chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a nonprofit organization that helps prepare them for

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National