Ky. lawmakers consider waivers for mounting snow days - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. lawmakers consider waivers for mounting snow days

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The average number of snow days schools in this part of Kentucky need to make up currently stands at 14, and now lawmakers are taking action.

The startling total produced by a harsh winter is threatening to delay graduations, state testing and family vacations.

"You'll fall asleep in class most of the time, reluctant to take notes. You're probably on your phone most of the time too," said student Trystan Bright Hadley, who also describes the sickness plaguing high schools that's more contagious than the flu.

"Yes, people have taken ill to 'senioritis.'"

The disease of apathy is taking down more students by the day with a senior year that keeps getting longer.

"It really makes instruction difficult because you realize students lose some of their content when they're off expanded days," said North Bullitt High history teacher Monica Clark.

There have been 15 snow days in Bullitt County -- two more added this week -- that are packed on to the end of the year.

The last day for Hadley and his classmates at North Bullitt High School is now set for June 10.

"Very unusual, my first year we had zero snow days," Hadley said. 

"But you know we have these back roads where there are wet, slick, icy condition where buses can't get to us, kids can't get to us," said North Bullitt High principal Jeff Marshall.

Several districts in this area have hit 15 snow days or just below. Perry County, on the other hand, has 31 snow days -- the most in the state.

It's prompted state lawmakers to consider two bills to provide some relief for the Commonwealth.

"That is a huge issue and we are hearing from districts everywhere: people trying schedule graduation, families are making plans for different things," said Ky. House Minority Whip Rep. John Carney.

Unlike Indiana, Kentucky's legislature has to approve weather waiver days if a district is at less than 20 snow days.

Rep. Carney says two bills would do just that.

One creates 10 weather waiver days this year that students wouldn't have to make up.

The other addresses future years, by reducing the number of mandated student days as long as instructional hours remain the same.

"What we're trying to do is build a much more flexible schedule. It will not change the work  year for teachers," said Rep. Carney.

With high-stakes state testing looming, teachers want a decision.

"If I could have it today, I would love to have it today, because it would at least allow me to formulate a plan for the remaining amount of instruction," Clark said.

For Trystan and his classmates, the only medication is graduation.

Indiana already announced waiver days for one extreme cold and snow event.

School districts have also been given the option to alter the school day or hold virtual classes to meet the instructional hours requirements.

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