KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Delaying summer vacation because your kids have to make up snow days can be annoying for many families, but this annual tradition of extending the school year could soon come to an end in Missouri.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently signed into law Senate Bill 743, and it changes the way Missouri public schools track school days. For decades, Missouri school districts have been required to schedule 174 instructional days every year. If school is canceled due to a snowstorm, school districts are required to tack on an extra day at the end of the school year to make up that lost day.
Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Missouri school districts will be required to provide students with 1044 hours of instruction. While that equals to 174 days, counting hours instead of days will give school districts more flexibility.
If a school district cancels school for snow, instead of tacking on an extra day at the end of the school year, the district could start school 15 minutes early for a couple of weeks to make up that lost time.
This way, Missouri kids could start summer vacation on time.
It also adds flexibility to rural school districts where kids travel long distances to get to school. Those districts could have the option of going to a four-day school week – as long as the kids still get in the required number of hours at school.
Kansas already does this. School districts in the Sunflower State must schedule 1116 hours over 186 days. That’s 12 more days of school than in Missouri. But if there is a snow day, Kansas schools have the flexibility to extend the school day to make up the lost time.