Waiting on Sacramento: School administrators seek guidance from state on how to proceed with missed school days
Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay and other educational administrators have been pushing the California Department of Education to make a decision.
While school days missed due to PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs will likely be waived for students, the same may not be true for teachers and staff members, said Lay.
“We need leadership from Sacramento and we’re not getting any right now,” he said.
Lay said county superintendents and state education leaders may soon deliver a plan to the education department because guidelines for how school districts should proceed are needed soon.
“It will be very difficult to add days to the end of the year on the calendar because it’s something we’ve never done in Nevada County,” said Lay.
In addition to each school district (except for charter schools) negotiating school calendars with local teacher unions, the county education office is trying to determine how to make up missed instructional time, said Lay.
The office is also looking to set aside five to seven “school closure days” (retiring the term “snow days” for its lack of relevance) for next year.
The school district hit hardest by the power shutoffs has been Penn Valley, Lay said.
The Penn Valley Union Elementary School District has lost eight days of school instruction, according to district superintendent Torie England.
“It’s a lot of time for kids,” said England.
The superintendent hopes the state education department administers a requirement for makeup time. While no decision has been made, the school district has been negotiating teacher contracts with the Penn Valley Teachers Association, and has a meeting with the union on Dec. 2.
England said the district like others, such as the Nevada Joint Union High School District, have been applying for school day waivers for students.
At Nevada Union’s school district, first semester will be pushed back to after winter break on Jan. 17, according to an email from Dan Frisella, assistant superintendent for the school district.
It will also develop “delayed start bell schedules” to possibly begin school at 11 a.m., preventing school closure days otherwise caused by snow, wrote Frisella.
Schools across the county are gearing up for a possible set of school closure days today and Thursday due to PG&E power shutoffs.
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
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