Bentley Community Schools first in Mid-Michigan to announce added days

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BURTON (WJRT) (2/8/2019) - Bentley Community Schools is the first district in Mid-Michigan to officially announce added school days onto its calendar thanks to a bevy of snow days so far.

The district is canceling a planned day off for students on April 22 and adding one day onto the end of the year on June 14. Superintendent Kristy Spann warned in a letter to students and parents that any additional snow days this winter will result in more days added.

Michigan requires schools to have classes on 180 days each year. The state offers six free snow days and school districts can apply for a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education to receive three more.

Attendance must be 75 percent of students or more for a particular day to count toward the total of 180 days.

Like many Mid-Michigan school districts, students had all five days off last week due to snow and dangerously cold weather. Ice storms this week resulted in an additional two or three days off, along with other snow days earlier in the winter.

Bentley lost an additional day on Jan. 24, when fewer than 75 percent of students came to class.

As a result, Spann said Bentley schools have missed 11 days of classes by Friday. The state will forgive nine of those, leaving two that must be made up.

State Sen. Jim Ananich, a Democrat from Flint, has floated a new state law that would exempt snow days from counting against schools during a State of Emergency. That would give back three of last week's snow days -- and any future snow days during a State of Emergency.

Ananich also is mulling a proposal that would give back all snow days that school districts incurred this year because the weather has been extreme.

He is considering both approaches and bills to be drafted before submitting any formal legislation.

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