Ovid-Elsie Schools cancel "mid-winter break" to make up snow days

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DUPLAIN TWP., Mich. (WILX) -- A lot of schools have a four-day weekend starting this Friday, but one local district is canceling the mid-winter break.

The parking lot at Ovid-Elsie High School was empty on Tuesday because the district had yet another snow day. In a press release, the superintendent said the district has more than maxed-out its snow days, so they had to think of a different plan.

"I was pretty angry at first, just because we were never told these could be rescheduled, and they didn't ask us," high school senior Evelyn Fender said.

With the district on its 15th snow day this year, Superintendent Dr. Ryan Cunningham sent out a press release stating schools will be in session this coming Friday and Monday, instead of their mid-winter break. Students said they felt left out of the conversation.

"I understand from their perspective that they need to make up these days, but a lot of us are a lot more than students. We're adults with jobs, and lives, and appointments and plans ... and they didn't bother to ask us," Fender said.

Others on Facebook were unhappy with the lack of notice, while some praised the decision.

Cunningham says time was of the essence, and the decision was made after he surveyed staff members. According to the press release, more than 70 percent of them voted to make up days on the break.

"I just really want to emphasize that we're there to educate kids. So when it comes to snow days, safety is first, but any opportunity that we can get to make up these days, you know, we're going to try to take advantage of it. It is late notice and we apologize for that, and we are going to be as accommodating as we possibly can to anyone who already has plans," he said.

The state allows six forgiven snow days and, according to the press release, the district has applied for a waiver for three additional days. This leaves a good number of days left to make up, even with the plan to skip the break.

The district will now also have a half-day on Good Friday.

A state lawmaker is working on a proposal to get snow days waived on days when the state government was closed. We'll let you know if that goes anywhere.

To read the full press release, click the link included to the right of this page under Related Documents.

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