The TPS Board of Education voted on Tuesday, January 27, to switch the district from Calamity Days to a minimum-hour formula when there are snow days.
New state regulations this year require that districts complete a minimum number of hours, rather than days, but TPS had continued with a day-based schedule because of what was in existing collective bargaining agreements.
Jim Gault, executive transformational leader of curriculum and instruction and Scott and Woodward Learning Communities, said the new agreement with the district's unions gives administrators flexibility that was not available with only five Calamity Days.
In addition to converting from Calamity Days to Minimum Hours, the new TPS agreement allows for the following:
- The opportunity to cancel delayed starts beginning in February if inclement weather continues, forcing a delay or closing. Mr. Gault said that, in order to be proactive, the District will be canceling the Professional Development Delayed Starts that are scheduled for February 25, March 11 and May 20 which equals six additional hours.
- A Blizzard Bag option for students in Grades 7 and 8 only; there are plenty of hours available for students in K-6 and 9-12, Mr. Gault said.
The state requires more school hours for students in grades seven through 12 than it requires for elementary students, but TPS seventh and eighth graders use an elementary school schedule. The District has theability to make up three Blizzard Bags for students -- adding the equivalent of 5.75 hours for each day for a total of 17.25 hours. This permits an opportunity to have the equivalent of approximately four snow days if needed, Mr. Gault said.