MADRAS, OR -- Families and teachers within the Jefferson County 509-J school district are being told this week to plan for a potential extension of the school year. In Oregon, high school students are required to attend 990 hours in a year, 4-8th graders must have 900 hours of school and 1-3rd graders: 810 hours. Superintendent Rick Molitor says they’ve already lost 7 days due to snow and ice, but try to plan for weather events in advance. "We build, within our calendar, pretty extensive amount of time because we have extended hours. For example, because of the geographical size of our district, our buses run on one route. So our students who are dropped off at the high school, we also drop students off at our elementary building. So, our elementaries go quite a bit longer than our required hours."
Molitor says so far, seniors are the only students impacted by the closures, "At this point, every grade is in compliance except our seniors, because our seniors typically don’t go the last week of school. We’re still going through the numbers and finalize that, but it looks like our seniors currently are gonna be somewhat short. But, we believe we can capture those hours within the school calendar without having to add days." He tells KBND News, seniors will most likely need to attend that final week of school to graduate. He says he will continue to watch the calendar and the weather, "Because we’re at the beginning of winter, and we probably should expect more closures and delays, just because of the weather, I’m saying we should look at that third full week in June. That would look like June 15-19. I’m asking staff and then parents and students to be prepared that, if we do need to go into a need to extend school days, that’s more than likely what we would be doing." Jefferson County 509-J has cancelled the 2-hour early release scheduled for Wednesday, December 10th. Click HERE
to read a copy of Superintendent Molitor's letter to families.