By Ann Sanner
COLUMBUS: Ohio schools will receive four extra calamity days this year under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. John Kasich under the watchful eye of a group of fifth-graders.
Kasich invited the students to the Statehouse for the signing after he received letters in support of the measure from some of the students at Stingel Elementary School in north-central Ohio. The Ontario school has used 10 calamity days this year.
Snow, ice and harsh temperatures caused many districts across Ohio to exhaust the school year’s five allowable calamity days — most commonly called “snow days,” in which schools can close without making up the lost instructional time.
Many schools canceled classes for nine or more days this year. Some Guernsey County schools in eastern Ohio have topped 17 such days.
The new law lets districts use the additional calamity days only after holding class on four other scheduled days off, such as holidays or school breaks.
Schools have been waiting for the relief. The law takes effect immediately.
Under the measure, districts can continue to make up missed days through 30-minute increments tacked onto regularly scheduled school days. They also have the option of using work-at-home “blizzard bags” and online lessons.
Schools can excuse graduating seniors for any makeup days that occur after commencement ceremonies.