Indiana schools that canceled classes because of weather on Monday, Jan. 6, and Tuesday, Jan. 7, won’t need to make up the lost time, according to the state department of education.
George Frampton, director of the office of accreditation for the education department, confirmed Monday that state superintendent Glenda Ritz has authorized schools to apply for a one-day waiver from the required 180 days of instruction. Later in the day, Ritz’s press secretary, Daniel Altman, told The Elkhart Truth that the waiver will be offered to schools for Tuesday as well.
“This is based on the cold and the danger to kids,” Frampton said Monday afternoon.
He said Ritz made this decision on Sunday after consulting with her staff. Superintendents of Indiana schools were notified that a waiver was available for Monday on Sunday afternoon, via email or an automatic calling system, Frampton said.
The waiver means that schools can escape the “very severe financial penalty” they would otherwise incur by canceling one day of instruction, he said.
This waiver has been used before, but rarely.
“In the last 15 years, this may have been used maybe three other times,” Frampton said, adding that he believes the waiver was last used in 2007 or 2008.
He said the waiver has been used in the past to allow schools to make up just part of several missed days due to weather — like having just five makeup days for eight snow days.
Altman said Ritz decided just before 3 p.m. on Monday to also offer a waiver allowing Indiana school districts to cancel school on Tuesday without penalty. The waiver applies to all public and non-public schools in the state.
By Monday afternoon, all school districts in Elkhart County had announced plans to cancel school for Tuesday.