Gone are the days of students waking up early after a night of snowfall, anxiously watching the drop-down list at the bottom of their TV screen to see if their school was canceling classes.
Teachers, staff, students and parents in the Joplin School District will now know in advance which days will be automatically transferred to virtual or remote learning in the event of inclement weather.
The Joplin School Board last week approved a modified schedule for the 2022-23 academic year that designates five AMI days — or alternative methods of instruction — where weather prevents classes from taking place in person, eliminating so the conjectures of snow days.
“We really want to get ahead of the game…and lay out a plan for next year of what it will look like as the year progresses, so it’s not a lot of guesswork and it can be more predictable. “said Sarah Mwangi. , Deputy Superintendent of Learning Services.
The 2022-23 calendar maintains the start of the school year on August 22, as well as 170 days of instruction for students and nine days of professional development for teachers. With recent board approval, the calendar also specifies that the first five days to be canceled during the year due to snow, ice or other inclement weather will be designated as AMI days, during which students must participate and complete their school work virtually or remotely. .
Monday, February 20, 2023 will be designated as a make-up day if several AMI days have already taken place. Its use would be at the discretion of new Superintendent Kerry Sachetta.
If school is canceled for more than six days with the use of February 20 as a make-up day, or more than five days without the use of February 20, the district may consider pardoning other days. Mwangi said this was possible because the schedule, with its use of AMI days, would still exceed the 1,044 hours of student instruction time mandated by the state of Missouri.
If days are forgiven, certified personnel should still work, Mwangi said. Classified personnel could work with their supervisors to make up both AMI days and forgiven days if they so choose, she said.
Using AMI days means the calendar will be locked to the last day of school on May 26, 2023, because the district won’t have to make up for snow days at the end of the year. Board members said it should be attractive to employees.
“This will be the first time I know of a teacher being able to plan ahead for their summer vacation or their second job that they sometimes have,” board member Brent Jordan said. “They’ll know that school ends that day. It doesn’t happen in other school districts, and I don’t know if it ever happened here.
Board members also said the revised schedule would clearly communicate to students and parents what to expect in terms of schoolwork, even if winter weather cancels in-person classes.
“We may disappoint a few people,” council chairman Jeff Koch said, referring to students wanting snow days, “but you’ll know what the rules are.”