REDMOND, OR -- Some Central Oregon school districts are revising calendars, after kids lost four days during last week’s big snow storm. Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh says it's not an easy discussion, "Kids deserve the best we can give them and trying to consider how to not extend the school year into July; right? So, if we’re going to extend this year, we’ll try to be done by the current week. One of the ideas on the table is to extend the student year by one day." That would end the year for Kindergarten through eleventh grade on June 14 instead of 13. Because seniors will also be short, McIntosh says he's also looking at making up days before June, "We’re talking about trading out some conference days, like we did two years ago, where we have kids come to school on conference days as regular school days and teachers conference with families after hours."
McIntosh says his original calendar included more than enough instructional hours but that pad was swallowed by the snow storm. Kindergarten, for example, had 909 hours when the state requires 900, "So, I only had a nine hour leeway, if you will. So, by losing four days, that’s 21 hours I would’ve lost. I need to make up at least three kindergarten days." The rest of the grades now have similar shortages.
He tells KBND News, whatever changes are made won’t change graduation ceremonies for Redmond and Ridgeview High schools, "We don’t want to mess up graduations that are already scheduled and trips and plane tickets. Two years ago, it was January and we felt like we had time to make some adjustments. Some of those times for adjustments have been lost in the last two months, so we’re scrambling to get it all done in the next, basically, three months." He expects to have a revised calendar out early this week.
Crook County Schools' Superintendent hopes to make a decision by Friday. Other school districts are also expected to announce plans this week.
Photo: courtesy Heather Leach, in Redmond