Local

Whatcom County schools to make up days missed for snow, flood

Since the middle of December, students across Whatcom County have missed anywhere from two to five days of school due to snow and floods.

State law requires public school students attend 180 days, and school officials can't add time to the school day to make up missed days.

District officials make calendar changes based on state law and collective bargaining agreements with staff unions.

It is unknown at this point if any of the missed days will be waived due to Gov. Chris Gregoire declaring an emergency. Sometimes schools can file a waiver to avoid making up the school day if the weather is catastrophic.

Districts have made the following changes. These may be altered later.

Bellingham: Two days missed for snow, two for flooding. To help keep the school year from extending until the end of June, school officials decided to change a teacher work day Monday, Jan. 26, to a full school day. Students who have prior family commitments will be excused.

The last day of the first semester has been moved to Thursday, Jan. 29, with high school students taking finals that Wednesday and Thursday. There will be no school Friday, Jan. 30, to give teachers a chance to finish grading and filling out report cards.

Report cards for all grade levels will be sent home Tuesday, Feb. 10.

The day before spring break, Friday, April 3, will now be an early release day for all students. This makes up for the missed early release day Friday, Dec. 19.

The last day of school is now Thursday, June 18, and all students will be released early.

Blaine: Two days missed for snow. Those days will be made up at the end of the school year, with Friday, June 12, being the last day of school.

High school seniors are required to attend only 175 days of school, so graduation is scheduled to take place Thursday, June 11, which gives a bit of flexibility in case there are more snow days.

Ferndale: Two days missed for snow, one for flooding. District officials haven't altered the calendar because they're looking into waiver options, said Elvis Dellinger, assistant superintendent of educational services.

If the district does not apply for a waiver, or does not get approved for the waiver, the missed days will be added to the end of the school year. If that happens, the new last day of school would be Friday, June 19.

Lynden: Two days missed for snow, one day for flooding. The two snow days from December will be made up Friday, Jan. 23, and Thursday, June 11. The flood day will be made up Friday, June 12, the new last day of school.

The Lynden district builds five weather days into the school calendar. If any more school days are missed this winter, they will be made up in March.

Meridian: Two days missed for snow. The missed days will be made up at the end of the school year, according to Superintendent Tim Yeomans. Based on the district calendar, the new last day will be Monday, June 15.

Mount Baker: Two days missed for snow, three for flooding. Because of the missed days, the last day of the semester has been moved to Friday, Jan. 30. No decisions have been made as to when the snow days will be made up.

The following events also have been moved: Winter ball is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30; "Sound of Music" performance and tea for senior citizens is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 3:30 p.m.; "Sound of Music" community performances have been moved to Feb. 19- 22.

Nooksack Valley: Two days for snow, two for flooding. The missed days will be added to the end of the school year, making the new last day of school Tuesday, June 16. First semester will still end on Friday, Jan. 23, with a teacher work day Monday, Jan. 26, according to Matt Galley, principal at Nooksack Valley High School.

Reach Kira Millage at kira.millage@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2266. Visit her School Days blog at TheBellinghamHerald.com/blogs.

  Comments