With school back in session after winter break, neither the Jefferson City School District nor the Blair Oaks School District plans to use alternative methods of instruction days in case of inclement weather this year.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education allowed school districts to use up to 36 hours of alternative methods of instruction for virtual learning without having to make up school hours. That meant that if school was cancelled for weather or other exceptional circumstances, schools could have students learn from home to avoid having to add extra days on to the calendar.
Blair Oaks Assistant Superintendent Kimberley Walters said the district had no plan to use alternative methods of instruction days unless a forecast might indicate an extended closure for multiple days. The district does not have any makeup weather days built into the calendar but does have some extra time available if needed.
Walters and interim Superintendent Mark Harvey make the decision on whether to cancel school for weather while working with the maintenance crew, bus companies and parochial schools in the district.
The Jefferson City School District has six makeup weather days built into its 2022-23 calendar, along with several extra days over the state requirements. The district will assess throughout the winter to see how many weather days would be made up.
The decision-making to cancel school for Jefferson City includes conversations between the superintendent and district staff, MoDOT, the city and the county as necessary; the director of transportation and facilities checking Callaway County roads to determine the need for snow routes; district leaders driving local roads personally to assess conditions; input from the bus company and a final decision by the superintendent.