Detroit spent the week in the grips of winter weather worthy of the arctic. Deadly, record-breaking cold laid siege to the city, keeping students at home for five straight days.
Under state law, districts can take six days off annually for snow, cold, or other hazards beyond their control. Districts can also ask the state to grant them three more snow days if conditions are serious enough. Any more than nine days, and the time must be made up during spring break or at the end of the year.
The Detroit Public Schools Community District has clocked six snow days already this year, including one on Jan. 23, potentially putting vacation time at risk for families.
All DPSCD schools and central office will be closed today. The weather and roads are too unpredictable to ensure student and staff safety.
— Nikolai Vitti (@Dr_Vitti) January 23, 2019
That’s high for this early in the year, but it’s not uncommon for Michigan school districts to clock more than six snow days. Last year, 200 districts were granted additional snow days by the state.
The added time off is a major inconvenience for parents who rely on schools to feed their kids and keep them safe during the work day.
The district plans to apply for the extra three days, according to a spokeswoman. It appears likely that the request will be granted, especially because the cold prompted widespread school closings and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a statewide emergency.
Assuming the request is granted, the district — and many other schools in the area — will have three more snow days to burn this winter before they have to make up time.
So students should get to stay home during spring break. At least for now.