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Lost and found: Schools fill in cancelled days

February 7, 2019

Some 3-day weekends and spring breaks will be compromised thanks to the wrath of Old Man Winter: School districts have lost 5 to 8 days due to weather-related issues, and making them up will require districts and some families to alter holiday and vacation plans. 

Illinois requires public and private schools to make up 5 emergency days; any days lost beyond 5 can be made up, or not, at the district’s discretion.

Sterling Schools, Rock Falls High School, and East Coloma-Nelson, Montmorency and Rock Falls District 13 schools in Rock Falls lost 6 days.

Each will add 5 days to the end of their school years.

Morrison and Oregon schools also are down 6 days.

Morrison will be in session Feb. 18, President’s Day, on Casmir Pulaski Day on March 4, on April 22, the day after Easter, and will add 2 days at the end of the year.

Oregon will delay its summer break by 4 days and use a half day on Feb. 15 as a full day. 

Newman Central Catholic High School in Sterling, and its feeder elementary schools – St. Andrew in Rock Falls, St. Anne in Dixon, St. Mary in Dixon and St. Mary in Sterling – each have lost 7 days.

Newman Principal Jennifer Oetting surveyed her faculty to help decide how to make up its 5 days. The decision: School will be in session on President’s Day, Feb. 18; the Monday after Easter, April 22; and the first 2 days of spring break; and by adding a day to the end of the school year.

St. Anne Principal Kathy Howard tries to follow Newman’s calendar, but her school may differ based on busing and family situations. It also will use President’s Day and the day after Easter as make-up days.

“We already had those days built in as emergency days that week, anyway,” Howard said. “Parents are aware that at some point, you’re going to make up 5 of those days, and not all 7.”

St. Andrew will have class on President’s Day, Good Friday (April 19) and April 22, and also will shorten its spring break by 2 days.

Chadwick-Milledgeville lost 8 days, and so the district has cancelled its entire spring break, which would have been from March 25-29, to make up 5 of them.

The school board will decide whether to use the remaining 3 days as attendance days, or do away with them entirely, Superintendent Tim Schurman said.

Amboy, Dixon, Prophetstown-Lyndon Tampico and Fulton also lost 7 days.

Amboy and Dixon will add 5 days to the end of their calendars.

PLT will add 5 days to the end of its year, and the remaining 2 will be up to their school board, which next meets Feb. 25, Superintendent Chad Colmone said.

Fulton used one during Martin Luther King Day, will extend a half day on Feb. 15 into a full day, have class on April 22, and tack 2 days onto the end it its year.

Erie Schools will decide what to do with its 6 lost days at its Feb. 25 meeting. 

Ashton-Franklin Center lost only 5 days, and took quick action to determine how to utilize them.

At its Jan. 31 meeting, held on a cancelled day of school, the board turned the Feb. 15 half into a full one, made Pulaski Day and April 22 school days, and added 2 days at the end.

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