Verona Area High School will be short of its instructional hours requirements after three weather-related closures over a week-and-a-half stretch at the end of January.
While the elementary and middle schools are fine, district administrators are working this week on options to make up the nearly three days’ worth of hours necessary to meet state standards, superintendent Dean Gorrell told the Press in an email.
“I will be getting something out to parents in the coming days once we have finalized what our plan will be,” Gorrell wrote.
The state requires at least 1,137 hours of instruction for grades 7 through 12, and at least 1,050 for grades 1 through 6.
Gorrell said “one of the leading options” under consideration would be to forgo late starts for high school only, though he acknowledged that would come with a cost. He said the administration was considering other options, as well, including what they can do with virtual offerings or starting the school day earlier through an optional offering open to all students.
Having Monday, Jan. 28, already planned off put the district in a better position than many around Dane County, which lost more hours because of closing that day. Oregon and Stoughton Area schools were closed Monday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, while the Madison Metropolitan School District was closed Monday through Thursday.
All of those districts were also closed the prior Wednesday, Jan. 22, for snow.
In 2014, the district added a day to the end of the school year and two minutes to each day to make up for inclement weather days. At that time, the state had requirements for both days and hours of instruction, but the days requirement has since been eliminated.
Gorrell said extending the school year would be especially challenging this year because of the early start in August for 2019-20.
“Adding days onto the end would be difficult,” Gorrell said.