Area Schools Eyeing Snow Day Options

Wednesday, January 28th 2009, 10:21 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Loren, for NEWS 9

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Many area school districts have run out of scheduled snow days and are working to determine how to make them up.

Another snow day for Tulsa Public Schools on Wednesday meant another day of fun for kids. Their parents try to make the best of another day with more kids to watch and hungry mouths to feed.

"It's a balance," TPS parent Melanie Ketchum said. "I try to get out here and do a little playing. I don't particularly care for snowball fights. They hurt."

Tulsa's superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard, said he takes the disruption to parents' schedules into consideration when deciding on snow days.

"I know it's an inconvenience, and we think about that," Ballard said. "But it's going to be trumped by what we think is in the best interest of the kids."

Ballard said bus routes are not safe enough to go back to school Thursday, making it the second snow day the district will have to make up in the future.

State Rep. Jeff Hickman wants to give administrators like Ballard more snow day options with House Bill 1864.

Oklahoma schools are required to complete 180 six-hour school days each year. The bill would change that to a required 1,080 hours each year, spilt up however districts see fit.

Ballard said making up snow days hour by hour is not something he's immediately excited about.

"It may be in the best interest of students to do whole days, but I like flexibility," Ballard said. "I like the bill. It gives us an option to consider so I would say that I would be supportive."

But Ketchum said the system is fine the way it is.

"If it's a matter of making the days longer, I don't like that," she said.

The bill is expected to be assigned to the House Education Appropriations and Budget Committee. The Oklahoma legislature convenes on Feb. 2.