Johnstown Independent

Two makeup days scheduled

New state law won't affect J-M, Northridge


A new state law regarding makeup days likely will have no effect on the Johnstown-Monroe or Northridge school districts this year.

Johnstown and Northridge each have canceled school seven times -- two more than the allotted five days -- because of inclement weather, so each must add two days of instruction to calendars.

House Bill 416, which Gov. John Kasich signed March 26, grants four additional calamity days to districts that already must make up at least four days, meaning only districts that have taken or will take at least 10 calamity days would be affected.

Districts usually make up missed days by adding to the instructional calendar. They may excuse graduating seniors for any makeup days that are scheduled after commencement ceremonies.

They also have the option of using blizzard bags, a state program that allows districts to make up a maximum of three days by sending home assignments or posting them online for students to complete and return to teachers.

Johnstown-Monroe's makeup days are April 14 and 21, according to Michael Heath, Johnstown High School principal.

Students will be required to attend classes on those days. April 14 originally was set aside as a waiver day, and April 21 was planned as a teacher conference compensatory day.

The last day of classes for Johnstown-Monroe students still is May 28.

Northridge Superintendent Chris Briggs said the district's two makeup days will be Monday, June 2, and Tuesday, June 3. He will recommend that the board excuse seniors from attendance on those two days.

Briggs said Northridge High School's graduation date is still Sunday, June 1.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, traditional school districts, joint vocational school districts and chartered nonpublic schools will be required to comply with minimum hours of instruction instead of a minimum number of school days each year, negating the calamity-day system.

Under a new state law, school districts will be required to be open for instruction for a minimum of 455 hours for students in half-day kindergarten, 910 hours for students in full-day kindergarten through sixth grade and 1,001 hours for students in grades 7-12.