Rural Minn. Educators Worried Too Many Snow Days Will Hurt Students’ Scores

By Diette Courrégé Casey — April 15, 2013 1 min read
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A particularly rough winter forced many rural Minnesota districts to shutter schools more frequently, and now school leaders are worried students haven’t had enough time to prepare for the state assessment in April and May.

“We’re very fearful that this will have an impact on how we perform on it,” said Montevideo Superintendent Luther Heller in a story on Minnesota Public Radio. “That we will have some students that won’t do as well as they would have, had we gotten all of the instructional time in that was possible to get in.”

The story didn’t give any numbers on how often schools had been cancelled this winter compared to previous years, but it quoted at least one superintendent who said his district had more closures and late starts this winter than in his entire career.

School officials often cancel school in bad weather because poor road conditions or visibility can make it dangerous for buses and parents to travel.

Some Minnesota superintendents want to be able to start school before Labor Day, which is prohibited by state law (although 30 districts have special waivers to start early), according to the story. A proposal that would allow schools to start before the end of summer has been floated again this year, although it’s failed repeatedly in the past.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.