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Snow days to push back end of year at Columbia, Jefferson City schools

Photo of East Elementary School taken Dec. 17, 2019.
ABC 17 News
Photo of East Elementary School taken Dec. 17, 2019.


Many Mid-Missouri schools have been forced to cancel school more than three times because of winter storms this season.

Some of them are at or near the number of snow days programmed into their school calendars. That means a longer school year for students, teachers and staff.

Columbia Public Schools and other Mid-Missouri schools called for early dismissal Wednesday. Cold air is expected on Thursday, which could keep roads slick for the morning commute, too.

CPS has used six snow days so far this school year. The district built six days into its academic calendar, but with more winter weather coming CPS could be forced to cancel school again.

One of those days will be made up in April, but the others must be made up at the end of the year in May. Like last year, that will push school past Memorial Day.

By law, if more than the six built-in snow days are used schools have to make the rest up at the end of the year. 

“The law, also outlines how it works for districts should they miss between seven and 10 days,” Columbia Public School’s spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said. “You make up every other day you take until you reach 10 days needing to be made up. So you make up only half of the next eight days, maxing out at 10.”

Baumstark said CPS surpassed the 10 allowed days once in the last 15 years. 

“It was a really tough winter,” Baumstark said.  “And shortly after that, revised legislation was passed granting forgiveness after a certain number of missed days.”

CPS makes all weather-related decisions based on available information through the city, county and state responders and emergency operations.

Jefferson City Schools are set to make up four snow days in late May. Those snow make-up dates were apart of the district's calendar that was approved by the Jefferson City Board of Education.

A new law changed this year stating that districts have to make up snow days by the number of hours missed, not the number of days.

"We hope we won’t have any more but we do live in Missouri so we anticipate that possibly happening," said Jefferson City School District Superintendent Larry Linthacum. "But right now the next snow day we have we will not have to make that up."

Schools have tried to use early dismissals and late start days to keep students in the classroom, but say safety is their biggest concern.

Centralia Public Schools has taken six snow days this year and Boonville Public Schools has taken five.

Columbia / Columbia Public Schools / Columbia Video / Education / Jefferson City Public Schools / Jefferson City Video / Top Stories / Video / Winter Weather
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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


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