Districts and charter schools made up less than a quarter of the school days lost to the severe winter of 2016-17, according to Idaho Education News research.
Administrators also used longer school days to make up for lost learning hours — and comply with state classroom time requirements.
But many were reluctant to extend the school year, for reasons that had little to do with student performance. High school seniors wanted graduation dates left intact. Parents wanted summer break to start as scheduled, in order to accommodate family vacation plans. Teachers had summer plans as well, including coursework or summer jobs.
As a result, teachers across the state had to shoehorn lesson plans into a shrinking school year. And according to one superintendent in the heart of Idaho’s snow belt, the truncated calendar contributed to disappointing test scores this spring.
BY THE NUMBERS
Idaho Education News surveyed district superintendents and charter school administrators and asked two questions: How many school days were canceled in 2016-17, and how many were made up?
Idaho Education News received responses from 80 of Idaho’s 115 school districts and 20 of Idaho’s 47 charter schools. (Click here to download the numbers.)
While incomplete, the results are still telling. Respondents said their schools canceled 507 class days, and made up only 125 of them.
These numbers don’t tell the whole story, several administrators told Idaho Education News.