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Some Whatcom County school districts have plans to recoup time lost to snow

A Blaine student board a bus on Harborview Road in Birch Bay, Dec. 14, 2016.
A Blaine student board a bus on Harborview Road in Birch Bay, Dec. 14, 2016. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Some Whatcom County school districts have issued plans for making up snow days racked up during storms this month and in December.

Every public district in the county has used at least six snow days, a result of the county’s lowland snowfall, which was much heavier and frequent this winter than in recent years. The Ferndale School District has used more snow days than any other so far – 11 – as snow and ice lingered on roads well after the storms.

While Blaine, Ferndale and Meridian school districts continue to weigh options for making up the lost time, others have announced plans. Here’s how those districts will address the missed days:

Bellingham

Bellingham schools used six snow days, and the state is “likely to approve” a request to waive two of those days, Superintendent Greg Baker said in a statement. The district will make up three of the remaining four days by having classes on these Fridays, which were originally planned as teacher workdays:

▪ March 10 and April 28: These days will be early-dismissal days, with all students starting class at their regular times. High-school classes will end at 11:15 a.m.; middle-school classes at 12:15 p.m.; and elementary classes at 1:15 p.m.

▪ June 9: This will be a regular school day with a full-day schedule. Staff will have a replacement workday later that month.

The last day of class will be June 16. The last day of the year was originally June 15, but was pushed back to June 19, after the December snow days. The use of teacher workdays and the waivers will allow the district to recover all but one of its missed days.

The district’s schedule for graduation ceremonies has not changed.

Lynden

Lynden has also used six snow days this year, taking off a week of classes earlier this month and a day in December, Superintendent Jim Frey said in a statement. The district will apply for two days to be waived.

To make up the remaining four days, the district will hold class on the following days:

▪  April 10: This was originally scheduled as a teacher workday.

▪  June 16, June 19, and June 20: These were built into the schedule as make-up days.

The last day of class for most students will be June 20, instead of the original last day of June 15.

But the change conflicts with graduation requirements for seniors, who will need to make up time after graduation on June 9, “or in some other flexible manner,” the statement says. The district is trying to avoid rescheduling its graduation ceremony.

Mount Baker

Mount Baker schools used six snow days. The district cannot waive any missed days without missing the number of instruction hours required by the state, Superintendent Charlie Burleigh said in a statement.

The district plans to move its original last day of school of June 15 to June 23. The graduation ceremony was rescheduled to June 15 from June 7.

Nooksack Valley

Nooksack Valley schools also have six snow days to make up after a week of missed classes this month and a day missed in December. The district has requested two of those days be waived, according to a statement from Superintendent Mark Johnson.

To make up the remaining four days, the district will have class on the following days:

▪  March 2 and March 3: Both were built into the calendar as potential make-up days.

▪  June 19 and June 20: These days were added to the end of the year.

To meet graduation requirements for seniors, the district also moved graduation from June 9 to a week later on June 16.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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