My School is Truant

Lily has not gone to school more than two full days in a row since mid-December. It is February 5.

Granted, there was a 2-week winter break in the middle of all that, but still. Let me repeat, there have not been two full school days in a row since mid-December. We’ve had 12 cancellations (so far) and at least 15 2-hour delays. Lily is in half-day kindergarten. Our school system splits the 2-hour delay between morning and afternoon kindergarten. Each class is one hour shorter, so she only goes to kindergarten for 1.5 hours on delay days and gets home an hour later than usual. If you add in the time it takes kindergartners to take on and put on winter coats, they might have an hour of actual class on those days. I have trouble seeing what the point is.

With 15 2-hour delays add up to 30 hours of missed school– another full week of classes. But we won’t be making up that time. In fact, we won’t be making up all of the 12 days we missed (so far. I suspect we won’t have school tomorrow. Another delay has already been scheduled.). They are talking about extending the school day 30 minutes and sending home extra homework to make up for the missed school, which in my world doesn’t make up for any missed school at all. In high school, an extra 30 minutes is only about 4 minutes per class. Are they really going to learn anything new in 4 minutes? Does an extra 4 minutes really make up for 12+ missed days?

If Lily were to miss 12 days of school on her own and then show up late for school another 15 days, I suspect a truancy officer would be at my house right now. We would probably be discussing whether or not she should repeat the year after missing so much school.

Instead, we have our school system trying to figure out how to get out of making up all the days of learning we “had” to skip because of the weather. I know there are financial and logistical problems in making up all of those days, but I’m more concerned with the fact that our kids are losing so many days of learning. Even when they do get to go to school, they only get to go for a couple of days and some of those days are on delays. I have trouble believing that much learning is getting accomplished with all of these interruptions.

Sometimes I wonder if the whole school system should just make up the year. It’s hard to say.

All I know for certain is that I’m glad Lily is only in kindergarten. If she were in an upper grade, I can’t even imagine where we’d stand right now.

Here’s hoping this winter lets up before we have to go to school through August.



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2 Responses to My School is Truant

  1. I am not sure its a matter of what they can learn in those 4 extra minutes per class, but rather a way of the state covering their collective butts federally which mandates that students go to school 180 days a year (176 days for those districts that obtain special variances) Its all legal and political crap.

    • I know they are just trying to cover their butts to hit our state/federal school day limit, but I think they should be more concerned about how this actually affects education. I feel like they are forgetting the real purpose in having school– teaching kids. The kids will not benefit at all from the longer school day.

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