CRESTON, Iowa — Those snow days are now piling up as high as the snow itself. Creston Community Schools has lost nearly two weeks of class time to the weather this season.
“We’ve had eight snow days and four two hour late starts so far and we’re not out of February yet,” Creston Superintendent Steve McDermott said.
In McDermott’s 38 years in education, and 20 years as a superintendent in three different school districts, this is the first time he’s dealt with this many snow days.
“The primary is students concerns and these bus routes, and then our young drivers,” McDermott said.
He says this winter the judgement calls have been cut and dry, but the constant cancellation is starting to get old.
“The unique part now, students, even the high school kids, are saying ‘please let’s just have school.’ They are even tired of it,” McDermott said.
But on the local sledding hill, these little Creston students beg to differ.
“What do you think of snow days, do you like them?” Channel 13’s Whitney Blakemore asked.
“Yes, because they are really fun and you get to go sledding,” Creston first-grader, Sam Staoker said.
“I like not having school and not having to get up early,” Creston seventh-grader, Lydia Goins said. “But I also like being in school and being with my friends.”
At this rate, they could be in school with friends through mid June. Creston’s original last day was May 28th, but now it won’t be until June 7th.
Luckily, Creston has more than the state required 1,080 instructional hours built into their schedule, so they can cut back on some make up days if need be.
“We hate to drop back because we feel like students need us more and not less, but yet there is a point where, like this year, it’s an extreme,” McDermott said.
The Department of Education says districts can get creative to meet the hours requirements by doing things like extending schools hours or even having school on the weekends. Creston says it’s not to that point, yet.
You may have seen a petition going around online, asking the Governor to ‘pardon’ snow days during the polar vortex this winter. It’s received more than 13,000 signatures.
The Department of Education tells Channel 13 no matter how many sign on, it’s not within the Governor’s power to forgive snow days.