Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

February 21, 2014

School makeup days debated

Eleven skipped school days due to miserable weather have added to the stress of preparing students for ISTEP testing.

“We’ve had 87 lost instructional hours,” including days off and shortened school days due to delayed openings, Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts announced at Monday’s meeting. “Last week was our first full week since the week before Thanksgiving.” Looking at the two students in the audience, he said, “Vacation’s over, kids!”

Students have made up just two days so far, Jan. 20 and Feb. 17. Trustees voted Jan. 20 and Feb. 17 that they must attend school on these nine upcoming makeup days: March 17-21 (all of spring break’s first of two weeks), April 18 (Good Friday), May 30 and June 2-3.

State superintendent of public instruction Glenda Ritz will allow school corporations to apply for waivers for missed days on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 only, which means, if granted, those students will go to school for 178 days instead of the required 180. Roberts recalled, “We did talk at the last meeting about looking at the waiver situation more seriously” if more days off occurred, which they did. He will discuss the pros and cons of waivers with administrators Feb. 25.

With many more snow days than usual, Ritz also decided school corporations have the flexibility to make up days in other ways, such as e-learning from home, longer school days and Saturdays. Students in many districts are going to school one hour longer for six days to make up one day, the superintendent said.

Trustee Wanita Linkel asked, “Are they looking at moving ISTEP” testing dates? Roberts said Indiana Department of Education officials extended the window by a week, so the test must be taken between March 3-21. Batesville Middle School students will take it March 10-12. Batesville Intermediate School third-graders will complete the I-READ test March 10-11, then ISTEP testing will begin there March 12.

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