Right now, USD 353 is two-and-a-half days short of the minimum needed to reach 1,116 hours of school.
School buildings across the state have been empty over the last few days thanks to streets full of snow. In Wellington, counting weekends, class was out of session for six and a half days.
Four and a half of those fell on days when class would have normally been in session. That's time the district is going to have to make up in the future.
"I think like most schools, we'll stay away from Spring break because there's too many long-term plans that have already been made," said USD 353 Superintendent, Rick Weiss. "After that we'll look at the end of the year, trying to straighten out some of those days, make sure we have the time, or there's also Easter break to look at." Weiss said Good Friday would be observed, but class may have to resume the Monday after Easter. The notion of longer school days is also on the table.
"That's always a possibility...," Weiss said.
Schools in Kansas need to be in session a total of 1,116 hours each year. State officials figure 175 days is the minimum needed to reach that number, Wellington has 177 days built into the schedule. Minus the time missed for snow, and if there are no more issues with the weather, USD 353 is setting at finishing with 172.5 days.
"That's one of the things in situations like this...I guess that's the price we pay for only going 177 days," Weiss said. "Those districts that go 180, 185, they don't need to worry too much about it."
Hours in a school day vary between the different buildings around USD 353. High School and Middle School days are six hours, 40 minutes, elementary hours are six hours, 35 minutes. That plays a factor in determining how the time will be made up.
"We have to go with the six hours and thirty five minutes, because...all the rest of the schools could make 1,116 and if one school doesn't, that's the one the State comes after," Weiss explained. Nothing is set in stone yet, but making up the time for the snow days will be looked at by district officials during the March 14 Board of Education meeting.
"When you have the situation with weather and other factors, it's always a price to pay later on," Weiss reiterated.