By Selia Salzsieder
Compared to last year, this winter has had colder temperatures, much much more snow and generally worse weather. For this reason, the School District of Chilton has been forced to call multiple late starts as well as numerous school cancellations. There have been a total of five official snow days this winter season at Chilton schools, creating the problem of lost instruction time.
Some changes have already gone into effect in order to help make up the time lost. For instance, the end of the third term has been extended from April 2 to April 5, effectively giving students as well as teachers much needed time to complete their coursework after spring break.
Another necessary change is one that comes in the form of scheduling. Instead of the day beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the high school, classes start at 7:55 a.m. for the remainder of the school year. The additional time has been simply added to first block, and the rest of the daily schedule has not been altered.
Superintendent Dr. Claire Martin explains, “This has been an extremely challenging year weather-wise. I have called more snow days and late starts this year than any other. Especially in a block schedule, this creates an impact on student learning due to lost instructional time. We have extended the quarter to create more equitable quarters of time throughout the school year, and we’ve extended the school day to meet the requirements for the Department of Public Instruction for hours and minutes of instruction time.”
Seniors seem to be taking the earlier start time the hardest. The earlier start does not sit well with them since most upperclassmen show up to school with only minutes to spare. “The new schedule is messing me up,” said senior Kristen Linzmeier. “I don’t like it at all,” added Bryan Meyer, another senior.
Senior Megan Dix is just thankful for the situation being handled the way that it is. “I’m just glad that the minutes weren’t added to the end of the day like we heard they would be. I mean, mostly everyone is already here in the morning anyway.”
As of right now, the year will end on June 6—one day later than originally planned—for freshmen, juniors and seniors. And the administration is doing everything that it can to ensure that the school year does not extend past that date. Seniors’ last day will still be May 29.
Needless to say, the weather this season has caused many unforeseen complications with scheduling this school year. However, the situation has been handled very eloquently by the administration as well as the student body. It has been difficult to make changes, but they have been necessary and have been paying off. Now, all the Chilton schools can do is hope that the Wisconsin weather is kinder next year.