Start of Deer Season Shuts Down Some Missouri Schools

By Diette Courrégé Casey — December 02, 2013 1 min read
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So many Missouri students skip school at the start of deer season that some districts shut down.

It’s not unusual for weather to force school closures—you’ve probably heard of snow days or hurricane days—but some rural schools in the Missouri Ozarks close at the start of deer season.

“The reason schools are letting out is because of the attendance issue,” said Summersville Public Schools Superintendent Merlyn Johnson, according to a story by Springfield, Mo.-based KSMU on this issue. “Anytime you get below 75 percent [attendance], you start losing money [because of state reimbursements]. The same goes with when you have a flu epidemic; if we start getting in the mid-70s, we’re considering cancelling school. So, the main reason is for attendance.”

At the start of this year’s deer season, his district closed for two days. Johnson went on to say that 75 percent of his 400-student district hunts, and it’s a family tradition for many. For others, it’s about providing food for their families, and some recipes call for Ozark venison.

This story made me wonder whether there were any other uniquely rural reasons that force schools to sometimes close. Anyone?

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