Governor Strickland’s plan calls for an end to calamity days, causing students to make up the days they miss

maria paskell ‘11

Junior Adriane Ghidotti and senior Kelsey Kessler enjoy a snow day in January. Calamity days will be reduced due to Governor Strickland’s plans.

Junior Adriane Ghidotti and senior Kelsey Kessler enjoy a snow day in January. Calamity days will be reduced due to Governor Strickland’s plans.

Freshman Margaux Aschinger wakes up, looks at the clock and realizes it is way past 8:05 a.m. After a bit of confusion, she goes to ask her mom why she didn’t wake her up for school. Immediately, after looking outside she realizes what has happened—it’s a snow day.

Most, if not all, students love waking up to a snow day. With the chance to go out and play in the snow, or simply stay inside to catch up on reading, it is the highlight of many students’ winters. However, now students may not be hoping for these days quite as much with the thought of make-up days in mind.

According to the website of the Office of the Governor of Ohio, as a part of Governor Ted Strickland’s educational plan to increase the number of days students attend class, he plans to eliminate calamity days by the 2012-13 school year in order to lengthen the school year. Currently, Ohio schools are allowed five calamity days; next year these will be reduced to three days, and subsequent years will have none. Make-up days will be enforced for any day school is canceled, whether due to snow or wind storms.

Schools must find practical ways to make up these days, because reducing snow days will not reduce the amount of snow.

With this plan soon going into effect, the Upper Arlington Board of Education has had to create a plan for making up these snow days. Board President Richard Arkin said this change will not affect how snows days are decided upon.

“The decision whether to close, or to delay the opening of school on a given day, will not be made on the basis of how many days are available,” Arkin said. “It will be made on the same criteria used now: first, and foremost, student safety.”

Therefore, a plan for make-up days will have to be made for future years. However, Arkin said he does not want to take away days that are important to students.

“Although we have not yet set what those ‘make-up days’ will be on future calendars, I think it is safe to assume that winter and spring breaks will be ‘sacred’ in the future and will not be used for make-up days,” Arkin said.

Consequently, the board has to come up with other options for make-up days.

“The most likely options will be Saturdays or an extension of the school year into June,” Arkin said.

According to Arkin, these days would be the same as any other day in the school year.

“The make-up days will be treated and should be treated as regular school days, where students should attend and where full efforts will be expected on behalf of the staff and the students,” Arkin said

Principal Kip Greenhill said this is a good plan for not only the students, but the community.

“Taxpayers are paying a lot of money to get education on snow days,” Greenhill said. “We wouldn’t pay a doctor to not show up to work.”

Some students are unhappy with this new plan. Since make-up days would now come into play more than ever, students would have to come to schools on days not originally planned. Aschinger is one of the students who dislikes this idea.

“I think [make-up days] are not worth having, because students wouldn’t want to be in school,” Aschinger said. “Students would rather be outside and enjoying their day off.”

Aschinger also thinks that calamity days help students focus on other days during the year.

“I think that everyone needs the calamity days every once in a while, because you need breaks from school,” Aschinger said.

While many consider Strickland’s plan beneficial, some have questioned if these changes will be worth it. As Aschinger said, all we can do is wait for the results of this plan.

Photo by emily poole