SMITHVILLE, MO (KCTV) -- Many students and parents are gearing up for a short summer after frigid temperatures and slick streets closed schools multiple times this year.
In Smithville, parents are taking a closer look at their calendars. They’re deciding how to spend their current 66 days of summer.
To date, the district has cancelled seven days of school due to inclement weather.
The district started later than usual because of construction projects at several schools. They started the school year on Sept. 4.
As of Tuesday, after the cancellation of school due to icy road conditions, the last day of class will be held on June 10.
The last possible day of school for Smithville students is June 13. Next school year will begin on August 15.
A spokeswoman for the district says calling off class is a difficult decision.
"It’s not easy, but we have to consider the safety of our students and employees first. Unfortunately, this winter has been one that is an exception. We checked our data for the last five years, and the average number of inclement weather days during that period is 2.8 days. So this year is definitely an exception," said Ashley Jones, director of human resources for the Smithville School District.
School district officials say inclement weather will not impact graduation for high school seniors.
Summer school will also be shorter this year. An exact start date has not yet been set. It will depend on any additional cancelled school days.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has make-up requirements set by statute that school districts must follow.
Information provided by the Smithville School District:
Q: What is the last day of school for the Smithville School District?
A: As of today, the last day of the 2018-19 school year is Friday, June 7, 2019.
Q: What is the last possible day Smithville students could be in attendance?
A: June 13, 2019
Please note the revision to the answer to the question pasted below. Inclement weather make-up days will occur in the following order: February 18, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 10, June 11, June 12, and June 13.
Q: How do inclement weather days impact Smithville School District’s school calendar?
A: The approved 2018-2019 school calendar includes 175 student contact days. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires at least 174 student contact days and 1,044 hours. The 2018-19 school calendar was built with school starting on September 4, 2018, due to Phase VI construction, and ending on May 31, 2019, pending no inclement weather days. Per the approved school calendar, should inclement weather occur, days would be made up February 18, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 10, June 11, etc. It has been tradition in Smithville to build make-up snow days at the end of the school year. For three (3) years, Presidents’ Day has been included in the calendar as an inclement weather make-up day. The following chart illustrates the make-up requirements associated with statute as of February 11, 2019.
Q: Why do some school district build in the maximum number of school days (last day of school does not change) and other districts add days to the end of the school year?
A: All school districts in Missouri follow the same rules when creating a school district calendar, but there is local control in how districts meet the requirements. The number of scheduled days and the length of the school day all play a part in these calculations. Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provides technical guidance on calendar construction and inclement weather makeup requirements. Refer to the following statutes for additional details: Section 163.021.1, RSMo., Section 160.041.1, RSMo., Section 171.033.4, RSMo., and Section 171.029, RSMo.
Q: Are there other considerations when Smithville School District builds its school calendar?
A: While our school calendars are not identical, Smithville School District collaborates with other district’s in the Northland (North Kansas City School District, Park Hill School District, Platte County R-3 School District, Liberty 53 Public Schools, and Kearney School District) because students from these districts participate in similar programs like Northland CAPS (North Kansas City School District) and Northland Career Center (Platte County R-3 School District).
Q. When will summer school be held?
A. The start date is still dependent on inclement weather and the last day of school, but the last possible day for the 2019 summer school will be July 3, 2019. It is likely, the summer school day will be extended to allow for sufficient student contact time.
Q. When does the 2019-2020 school year begin for students?
A. Thursday, August 15, 2019. Following is a link to the calendar: 2019-2020 School Calendar.
Q: There is a change in the statute effective July 1, 2019 that allows for greater flexibility when building a school calendar. Are there any changes to the district’s 2019-2020 school calendar as a result of the change in statute?
A: No. The 2019-2020 School Calendar currently does not provide for a reduction in days or hours of student attendance.