Snow Days, Part II (March 2019 School Leader Update
We have received multiple questions from schools and parents alike regarding snow days. Here are a few questions that were not covered in the initial FAQ. We know you are all diligently working to make up hours instruction for your districts. Thank you again for the work you do to keep kids safe every day.
- Can the Governor forgive snow days?
Under Iowa law, the Governor doesn’t have the legal authority to forgive snow days. State law requires schools to hold class for a minimum of 1,080 hours or 180 school days per school year.
- Do school districts need to have a public hearing before making changes to the school calendar in order to meet 1080 hours or 180 days in the event of snow days?
Iowa Code section 279.10 requires that a School District hold a public hearing on any proposed calendar prior to adopting it. As such, a School District should also hold a public hearing on any proposed changes to the school calendar that are necessary to meet the minimum of 1080 hours or 180 days prior to its adoption. The reason for this is that it allows parents an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. A public hearing should provide notice and an opportunity to be heard. Districts may locally determine how to accomplish this.
- Do schools need to make-up preschool hours missed due to snow days?
This is a local determination. It is always good educational practice to make-up hours or days of instruction that are missed.