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SHSD may add back snow day to school calendar

Three days of snow missed during Dec. winter storm


by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: MARK MILLER - St. Helens School District board member Jeff Howell, left, and Superintendent Mark Davalos, right, at the school board work session Wednesday, Jan. 8.No doubt many St. Helens students were elated to have three “snow days” during last month’s blast of winter weather in the Pacific Northwest.

But at least one of those days off from school may have its price, as St. Helens School District Superintendent Mark Davalos recommended to the school board at a Wednesday, Jan. 8, work session, that it move to restore at least one of those days to the academic calendar.

“I don’t think anything beyond two [snow days] we could bear to continue to allow as a cut, and we should put anything beyond that back,” Davalos said, adding, “I would like to get them all back.”

Davalos laid out two options for the school board, if it chooses to offset a snow day by adding a day to the calendar.

One possibility would be to add an academic day to the end of the school year, making June 12 a school day.

“That makes us end on a Thursday and check out on a Friday, for staff,” said Davalos.

But the option Davalos is recommending would restore the one budget reduction day on the 2013-14 school year calendar in the St. Helens School District — March 21, the Friday before spring break.

“I would do that,” said board member Gordon Jarman, agreeing with Davalos’ proposal. But he added, “We need to get that figured out quickly, because I’m sure there will be several people planning early spring break.”

Board member Kellie Smith seemed to lean toward adding a day onto the end of the year in June.

“I would say that there’s already trips to Disneyland booked,” Smith said. “I would almost do it at the end of the year instead.”

The board did not take action on Davalos’ recommendation Wednesday, as it was meeting in a work session rather than a regular session. Davalos encouraged board members to consider their options and approve a course of action at their Jan. 22 meeting.

The St. Helens school board holds its public meetings about every other Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., in the district office north of St. Helens Middle School. Wednesday’s work session was the first board meeting of 2014.