Update 2018-19 School Calendar due to weather cancellations
Date: February 18, 2019
Purpose: To provide parents, community, and staff an Updated 2018-19
School Calendar due to 7 instructional days cancelled due to
This winter is setting up to be a record winter for weather related events. As stated in
previous communications regarding the weather, we will always take every reasonable
effort to make thoughtful and timely decisions in the interest of student safety. So far
this winter we have cancelled 7 school days and at the February 18, 2019 Board of
Education meeting a revised 2018-19 School Calendar was approved.
As a result of the cancelled school days, school will now be in session on February 8,
March 1, March 28, April 22, June 3, June 4, and June 5. June 5th will be an early release day. A revised calendar is attached to this notice.
Some have asked “Don’t we have extra days in the calendar?” “What about freebies?” “I
thought we go by hours of instruction” and “Why not add 5 minutes to the day to make
up time?” All good questions and if school was only about putting in time, then we could
consider things like adding minutes to the day. The reality is, school is more than just
putting in time. School is about being learner-focused, it’s about providing students the
opportunity to access learning opportunities, and it’s about helping students be
successful. Adding 5 minutes to the day will never replace 7 days of instruction or 7
learning opportunities. Missing 7 days is like missing an entire unit of instruction,
placing our students at an academic disadvantage.
Some things to consider:
● Last spring the Board approved a school calendar with 172 days. If we didn’t
cancel any days we would have had 172 school days.
● The snow make up days that were in the original 2018-19 calendar were days off
unless we closed school.
● DPI indicates the minimum hours of instruction are 1050 hours for K-6 and 1137
hours for 7-12.
● The School District of Gilman has the fewest number instructional days in the
CESA10 region with 172 days. Most schools range from 176 - 178 days of
● While we calculate instructional hours from the time the first bell rings until the
last bell rings, when considering actual instructional time, we should subtract 43
minutes of core instruction due to resource hour, resulting in students receiving
only 1,035 hours of instruction a year in grades 6-12. Add the fact that most
students have a study hall on top of the resource time, and our 6-12 grade
students only get 912 hours of instruction a year.
● Our protocol when canceling an athletic or extra curricular event is to do
everything within our means to reschedule the event. In fact we rescheduled
prom last year due to weather. If we are going to do everything within our means
to reschedule events, it stands to argue we should reschedule school days as
● Lastly our vision is creating to environment “Where student achievement comes
first.” Our decision to make up all 7 school days is in alignment with our vision.
We are hopeful that no further revisions will have to be made; however should more
days be canceled the Board of Education and Administration are prepared to
reschedule school days. Should you have any further questions, please contact the
Superintendent, Walter Leipart.