School year extended in Grand Ledge High School

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By Jiabin Liu

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

School Board Meeting on Monday in Grand Ledge high school Photographer: Jiabin Liu

School Board Meeting on Monday in Grand Ledge high school
Photographer: Jiabin Liu

GRAND LEDGE ­– Grand Ledge high school extended the last school day to June 10 and will have students attend in the morning.

The last day for seniors remains on May 23, and graduation is on May 30.

Because of the weather circumstances, Grand Ledge high school closed 11 days throughout the polar vortex.

Michigan education law

As specified in Section 101 of the State School Aid Act, to qualify for a school aid, each school district requires a minimum of 170 school days or at least 1,098 school hours.

The law allows six days to be forgiven in case of conditions that are not within the control of school authorities such as severe storms, fires, health conditions and infrastructure issues.

With the additional five cancelled days, Grand Ledge High School is responsible to make up for the missed instructional hours.

Too many snow days

Brian Metcalf, the superintendent of Grand Ledge High School, announced the calendar adjustments in the school board meeting.

“Most of our students, after the first four and five snow days, they wanted to come to school,” Metcalf said. “Our kids enjoy learning and enjoy being here.”

Beverly Winstanley, the board secretary in Grand Ledge High School, concerned about too many cancelled in school days.

“People were always looking forward to snow days,” said Winstanley. “That got to the point that they were concerned that it’s gonna extend the school calendar.”

Staff concerns

Due to the snow conditions, safety issues are the concerns of high school staff members. Grand Ledge high school has more than 125 square miles of school district that school buses need to pick students up. About 800 students who drive to school everyday, Metcalf said.

Linda Wacyk, a trustee in Grand Ledge High School, said she is concerned about the lose of students’ learning opportunities.

“We all kind of know in our guts that kids learn more in January and February than they do in the middle of June,” Wacyk said. “Inconvenience is not what we wanted, but it’s much safer in June.”

The more days of instructional hours students lose, the less they are able to learn in a year, Wacyk said.

Citizen opinion

Alan Miller, a reporter at Lansing State Journal, who attended the meeting on Monday.

“Some parents won’t like it,” said Miller, referring to the extension of the school year. On the other hand, “There are certain things that are required to learn in class. If they are not in class, they are not gonna learn it.”

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