TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools students are on the hook for only one of 11 days lost thus far this year to inclement weather, while other districts across the region will trim breaks or schedule school on Saturdays to make up for lost instruction time.
TCAPS is required to have 173 days of instruction each school year, but has 177 days on this year’s calendar, said Chris Davis, the district’s executive director of human resources. The state of Michigan allows schools to cancel six days for inclement weather before schools must make amends for missed days.
TCAPS’ 11 snow days lost puts the district at 166 days of instruction. That number jumps up to 172 when the state’s six forgiven days are added, leaving students with one day to make up before school lets out in June.
Suttons Bay Public Schools has had seven snow days this year, a seemingly low number for a blizzard-filled winter.
“One of the advantages that Suttons Bay has is that all of our bus routes are paved, so we don’t have the challenge of navigating unpaved roads in the winter like some other districts do,” Superintendent Michael Murray said.
Suttons Bay students will add one day to the last week of school to make up for the lost time.
Elk Rapids Schools canceled school 10 times because of bad weather and needs to make up four days. School administrators sent a survey to district parents to determine the best days to add to the calendar. Parents elected to add two days on either side of Easter weekend -- April 18 and April 21 -- and the remaining two days will be added to the last week of school.
But it all could change if another winter storm sweeps through this month. It isn’t uncommon to need to cancel school because of lousy weather in April, Davis said.