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Districts address snow days

The unplanned week off from school may have been great for students at the time, but Plateau area superintendents say the party is over.

When the snow started piling up Nov. 20, Enumclaw and White River school districts closed the doors right up until the two-day Thanksgiving break.

Enumclaw had two snow days built into its calendar, meaning students will now be in classes May 27, June 16 and June 17. Any additional snow days this school year will be tacked on to that date.

From now on, Superintendent Mike Nelson joked, “It can only snow on winter holidays and weekends.”

White River also has used up its built-in snow days. Students who would have seen the last day of school June 14 will now be sitting behind their desks until June 17.

“It seems like we’re going to be challenged this year,” Superintendent Tom Lockyer said. “If La Niña brings what it says it will bring and the Farmer’s Almanac holds true we hope it snows on the weekends.”

Lockyer’s not sure what his district will do if there are more snow days.

By law, districts have to make up snow days, but the state can grant waivers for extenuating circumstances. If more snow days are necessary, Lockyer said he would meet with teacher association leaders to see if changes could be made to the calendar.

He is taking a wait-and-see approach.

It’s a concern of superintendents across the area, Lockyer noted.

“We’re all on edge and challenged uniquely in each district,” Lockyer said. His worries center on more snow, spring flooding, which created problems for a number of districts a few years ago, and wind storms that can knock out power and close schools.

Nelson shares those concerns.

The good news is snow, unless it comes in June, should not impact graduation, although technically, Nelson said, seniors could go through commencement ceremonies and be asked to come back to fulfill classroom obligations. But, he said, rarely do the seniors return.

Also canceled prior to Thanksgiving were many parent-teacher conferences. White River made up its conferences the week students returned. Enumclaw will change its early dismissal day, Friday, into a conference period. Secondary students will be dismissed at 11:15 a.m. and elementary students will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m.

Enumclaw High School offered its arena conference time Thursday.

Students in the Carbonado Historical School District also missed two days due to weather and will add them to the end of the year. Last day of school now is June 13. Superintendent Scott Hubbard said additional days will be tacked on to the end of the year.

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