Extra hours not efficient way to make up snow days

Rachel Edie, Business Manager

As the second month of 2020 approaches, the Manhattan-Ogden district has already used up its three snow days for the 2019-2020 school year. The first snow day appeared on the 16th of Dec. The second snow day was spaced apart and taken on the 13th of Jan. Almost immediately following that day was the last snow day on Jan. 17th. All days were taken off due to inclement weather.  

Due to the shortage of snow days so early into the year, the district has already begun to discuss ways to make up for any further snow days. These include coming in on a Saturday or adding extra time to the end of the school days. 

Adding extra time, even the miniscule amount they will add, is the worse option. Many high school students have either jobs after school that start soon after the end of the school day. My after school job will sometimes start at 3:30 p.m., for instance. For my coworkers and I,  this would give us 20 minutes to change and get ourselves to our job. While possible, it’s not ideal. Other jobs start at the same time while being farther away from the high school, so adding any extra time at all will further complicate their commute. 

While this is one possible issue, another issue will be sports schedules. Sports that start immediately after school this spring will have to run practices later, or shorten them. Because most sports aren’t likely to shorten their practices the athletes now have an even shorter time after school to hang out with friends, go to work or a second sport, participate in clubs, or do homework. Multiple athletes already have to juggle their sport, school and other activities enough as it is without their practices running longer than their scheduled time. 

Schools would, themselves, be affected as well. Bus schedules would change and in some cases, reroute. Buses that would run into rush hour would get students home at yet again a later time than originally promised. This would lead to overtime pay for bus drivers, a luxury to school districts nowadays, as well as overall more pay for every employee in the district. Five to 10 minutes doesn’t seem like very much time for pay; however, it would add up over the duration it would take us to make up the days lost to snow and ice. 

With the other presumed option to replace the days, coming in on however many saturdays necessary, is the better of two evils. As a student, I know that coming in on a Saturday elicits a groan at its mere mention. But past thinking about how many precious hours we would lose sleeping in, it wouldn’t be too much of a sacrifice. It would still count as a regular day so people with after school and weekend jobs could still work if necessary, they would simply miss a day or two of school and act as if it were a regular absence. This way it’s more of a responsibility on the students and less on administration for the attendance. It gives us more of a choice. 

So would coming in on a Saturday be my favorite thing ever? Absolutely not. Is it more fair when accounting for everyone in the district? Absolutely.