By Denise Dick
City school students will make up the days missed due to cold and snow through a combination of a lengthened school days and enrichment lessons for students to do at home.
The city schools were closed for nine days this past winter because of the conditions and by law, four of those days must be made up.
Karen Green, assistant superintendent of human resources, said the administration’s plan was approved by the teachers’ union which must, by contract, sign off on a change to the school day or year.
From May 1-30, the school day will begin 15 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later to make up two of the missed days. For Youngstown Early College students, who operate on a different schedule than the rest of the schools, the change will run from April 14 through May 16.
The other two days will be made up using “blizzard bags,” or paper copies of enrichment lessons created by each student’s licensed teachers. The lessons are equal to or greater than the amount of instructional time the student would receive for two school days. The work is to be completed at home.
School board members unanimously approved the plan but not without reservations.
Michael Murphy said he’d rather see more time added rather than the blizzard bags, doubting that students will do the work.
Brenda Kimble agreed.
Marcia Haire-Ellis said she wanted students to make the time up earlier in the school year to allow more instructional time before the Ohio Graduation Test and the Ohio Achievement Assessment.
In other business, Kimble, who just returned from a Council of Urban Boards of Education conference in New Orleans, said she spoke to the official assigned to oversee President Barack Obama’s White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The official told her there’s nothing districts need to do about the order other than to ensure strong programs are in place.
That comes in answer to a news conference earlier this week where members of the United Front For Educational Justice said the district was out of compliance with the initiative.