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Making up for lost days, GSL School Board adjusts calendar

Having already lost five school days to inclement weather this winter, the Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board took steps Monday, Feb. 11, to try and prevent the school year from extending into June.
The school district lost Jan. 28-29 to inclement weather. It held digital days where students connected with teachers online for learning at home. The district lost Jan. 30 to foul weather. The lost date will be made up May 30, according to a plan directors formally OK’d Monday night.
Harsh winter weather forced the closure of school Feb. 7 and 8. The approved plan to make up the days April 18 and 22, reducing spring break to a single day, April 19. Superintendent Chris Sonju told the board the proposal was supported by many, but not all, members of the district’s staff.
The board also OK’d a provision that if two more days are lost to inclement weather and replaced with digital learning days, the district would need a plan for union members and hourly-wage staff to make up the missed time.
Elementary school principal Bill Butler and junior-senior high principal Matt Foss said student and staff participation in the first two digital days was generally solid. Administrators acknowledged the need for better communication with staff and students regarding the implementation of digital days.
“There’s certainly tweaking that needs to happen,” Foss said. “For the first time out of the gate, I think it was successful.”
Director Jamie Alsleben, the school board’s chairman, raised a concern for students who don’t have Internet access at home. Sonju said the district would look for a way to help those students maintain their place with other students.

(For the complete story, see the Feb. 13 print edition of The Chronicle.)