In the 2013–14 Platteville school year, school has started late, ended early and been closed due to, in chronological order, excessive heat, ice and excessive cold.
After the fifth day off, the result of the Jan. 27–28 far-below-zero wind chills, Platteville School District students will have to go to school on what was a scheduled day off for students, Friday, April 11.
School district superintendent Connie Valenza said the 2013–14 calendar had two built-in extra days that didn’t require either students or teachers to make up the day. The third and fourth days off are required to be made up by teachers, but not students.
Days off beginning with the fifth day are required to be made up by students. That turned out to be Jan. 28, the second day of two days off because of bitter cold wind chills. That was three weeks after the two days off Jan. 6–7 because of bitter cold wind chills, and one month after school was closed Dec. 20 — the day before winter vacation was to begin — because of an ice storm.
Valenza prefaced her explanation Monday night with the words “as of this moment,” because the low was forecasted to drop to 19 below zero overnight, raising the specter of another late start the next morning. That late start didn’t happen, though, because Tuesday’s low was 13 below zero, with winds no more than 5 mph, resulting in wind chills no worse than 26 below zero.
Future days off, or even portions of days off, may have to be made up during spring vacation March 17–21, or after the scheduled end of the school year in June. State law requires that students be in school 175 days, and 437 hours for kindergartners, 1.050 hours for first- through sixth-graders, and 1,137 hours for seventh- through 12th-graders, per school year.
The only other scheduled days off are Good Friday, April 18, and Memorial Day, May 26.