The Plateau experienced heavy snowfall in early February, which closed down local school districts for multiple days. Photo by Connie Johnson

The Plateau experienced heavy snowfall in early February, which closed down local school districts for multiple days. Photo by Connie Johnson

State OK’s waiver for Enumclaw, pair of snow days will not be made up

White River School District also had its waivers approved, but the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District has not, and school could continue until June 27.

Students in Enumclaw will see their school year extended by just one day, now that the state has allowed the district to ignore two days that were lost due to February snowfall.

Administrators and school boards throughout the region appealed to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction after the wintry weather scrapped parts of two weeks in February. The option of having days waived was possible because the governor had issued a formal state of emergency at the time.

Most districts have some “snow days” built into their schedule, to be taken as days off unless needed. Those are the first to go.

That is the case in Enumclaw, where the entire district – high school, two middle schools and five elementary schools – was shuttered for five days (Feb. 4 and 5, then three days the following week).

So the “snow days” that kids enjoy are long gone. The first was taken March 22 and now May 24 will also be a school day.

That leaves one more day to deal with and it will be tacked onto the end of the school year, making Friday, June 21, the final day.

Here’s where things stand in neighboring districts.

CARBONADO

The smallest of the local districts, with fewer than 200 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, also presents the most interesting situation.

Superintendent Scott Hubbard reported that the district submitted its request for a two-day waiver on March 19, long after most districts had filed with OSPI. He’s anticipating a positive result, since Carbonado students spend more hours in front of their teachers than their peers in surrounding districts. That’s because Carbonado had not adopted the practice of building in “early release” days, where students are sent home hours earlier than usual.

Carbonado’s request also is unusual in that a waiver is not being sought simply for snow days. One of the wintry February days, when everyone else in King and Pierce counties closed, the small district kept its doors open. But there was a day in January when the entire town lost power for 24 hours and school was closed.

Hubbard is hopeful OSPI will not require than either day be made up.

The district had two snow days built into the school calendar and used the first of those March 1. The second will come May 28, when teachers and students will spend a Tuesday in class instead of turning Memorial Day into a four-day weekend.

SUMNER-BONNEY LAKE

Students in the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District thought they would finish the school year on June 20, but that is no longer the case.

February’s winter weather brought six days of cancellations. Like others, the district petitioned OSPI to waive the two days falling within the “state of emergency” declaration. The district still hasn’t heard if its request will be granted.

Even if the waiver comes through, the remaining four days will need to be made up. There are no “snow days” built into the calendar so it appears time will be added to the end of the original school calendar.

Here’s the posting on the district website:

“If state approves waiver: The last day of school year would be Tuesday, June 25. If state denies waiver: The last day of the school year would be Thursdays, June 27.”

WHITE RIVER

Administrators in the Buckley-based district submitted their request for a two-day waiver and received a verdict from OSPI the morning of March 25.

The district was closed for four days and, according to the district’s contract with teachers, all snow days must be made up at the end of the school year. In White River, the final day – according to the existing calendar – was planned for Friday, June 14. That means students will attend class at for two days the following week, June 17-18. School staff will be required to work through June 20.


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