FOX 47 - Top Stories
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - With
forecasts well below zero in the coming week, school districts are bracing for
Sun Prairie Assistant
Superintendent Alice Murphy is in charge of counting the days, hours, and even
minutes when kids are in class.
“If it seems as though
we're being a little bit strict about five minutes here and add five minutes
there, it's with good reason,” Murphy said.
The Department of
Public Instruction (DPI) requires that students have at least 175 scheduled
days of instruction. There are also mandates for the number of classroom
hours grade levels must have.
Two of the district’s
“flex” days were already used when freezing temperatures swept across the
region earlier this month. Murphy said last year’s cancellations were
difficult, but no changes were made to brace for another bad winter with more
than normal cancellations.
“Believe me, last year
we had serious conversations at the administrative level looking at all of the
alternatives and what seemed to be the best,” Murphy explained.
One of those options,
Murphy said, might be implemented next year.
“We're looking at
building in a day that just gives us that flexible day, just hanging out on a
Friday that if we don't need to be in session, we'll use it for professional
development,” Murphy said, “but if we do need to be in session, there's a day
that we could give up a little more easily.”
It’s too late to
pencil in an extra day this year, which means Sun Prairie will have to find a
way to make up for any time lost to Mother Nature.
“Is it going to be in
June? Is it going to come from spring break? And those are the
tough discussions that we need to have,” Murphy said.
On top of that,
elementary schools in Sun Prairie are already behind on the instruction time,
and principals are talking about starting class a few minutes earlier later on
this year to make up for that.
Perry Hibner with the
Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District said this is not a typical winter
for the district.
“Normally at this time
of year, we're not sitting in a position where we're worried if we have another
day off either because of cold or snow that we're going to have to make it up,”
Hibner said if it came
down to making up full days, the district would most likely tack on days to the
end of the school year rather than take them away from spring break.
Hibner said there is a
way to apply to the DPI for a waiver on the minimum number of school days
required. He added that the district is more prone to cancel school than
delay arrivals, but everything is a possibility in this kind of situation.
“We think it’s a
bigger inconvenience to do the two-hour delay or one-hour delay. On the
other hand, again, when you get to this point where here you are only in late
January and we're already at that minimum number because of the way winter has
been,” Hibner explained. “It's been a tough winter on everybody. I
think you kind of say all cards are on the table and we'll make it a case by
For more information
on school day and hour requirements, visit http://cal.dpi.wi.gov/cal_daysq&a
Saturday, January 25 2014, 02:53 PM CST
Tonight on FOX 47
1:00pm Ring of Honor Wrestling
2:00pm FOX 47 Movie: "Van Wilder Deux: The Rise of Taj"
4:00pm The Big Bang Theory
4:30pm The Big Bang Theory
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Two and a Half Men
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Modern Family
7:00pm Almost Human (Encore)
7:00pm The Following (Encore)
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:30pm Paid Program
10:00pm Animation Domination
11:00pm Ring of Honor Wrestling
12:00am The Arsenio Hall Show