Weather Forces Creative School Scheduling

Snow days and new holidays required the Deer Park School District to use creative problem-solving in managing the school schedule, so students will receive adequate instruction and family conferences.

Due to weather-related school cancellations this year, the Deer Park school district recently announced modifications to the 2022-23 school calendar. As part of the basic education requirements in Washington state, each local education agency must make a minimum of 180 school days available to students each school year. Therefore, to make up the days missed, the district was looking at the last day of school being Tuesday, June 20th. However, since Monday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, a new federal and state holiday, the school district could not hold school that day. So, after a three-day weekend, students would return for a half-day and then be released for the summer. School officials felt this would cause poor student attendance and was not a realistic solution.

To resolve the issue, the school district thought creatively about the best approach to achieve the required school days while ensuring good attendance and keeping the last day of school on Friday, June 16th. The answer was slight modifications to the school calendar, which mainly impacts this month’s traditional conference week schedule.

The modified school calendar includes a half-day for students with afternoon and evening conferences on Wednesday, March 29th, followed by another half-day for students with afternoon and evening conferences on Thursday, March 30th. There will be a non-school day on Friday, March 31st. The half-day that would have taken place on Tuesday, June 20th, the last day of school, has been moved to Thursday, March 30th, previously a non-student day. This way, teachers can meet with all families and ensure all conference slots are available. Also, May 26th is an official school day now.

It is important to note that schools will start at the regular time on Wednesday, March 29th, not with the previously planned one-hour late start. The changes described above have been updated in the 2022-23 Revised Calendar, available on the district’s website. The district also assured parents that they can reach out to the main office of their child’s school if they have any questions about the changes.

Schedule Changes to Remember:

Wednesday, March 29th: Half-day for students, conferences in the afternoon and evening (also, the school will start at the regular time – no one-hour late start)

Thursday, March 30th: Half-day for students, conferences in the afternoon and into the evening

Friday, March 31st: No school

Friday, May 26th: School day

Friday, June 16th: Last day of school

Sources:

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