CKSD moves last day of school to June 20

Central Kitsap School District students will soon have to reap the harvest of the two free snow days they received Jan. 8 and 29. CKSD has pushed back the last day of school two days to Friday, June 20.

The make-up days fall within those that the district planned for. Another unscheduled off-day would bump classes into the fourth week of June.

“We try and arrange the calendar so that we have a couple of days at the end of the week of the last week of school” but classes can be bumped to the following week if necessary, CKSD Director of Operations Dirk Gleysteen said.

The district sent out the revised school calendar in their April 1 ENews e-mail release.

There’s actually no cap on the amount of make-up days the district can write in. The only requirement is that students attend 180 days of classes.

This year is slightly different — students will only attend 179 days total. The Dec. 4 off-day was waived by the Washington state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) due to excessive flooding in the area.

Despite the recent chilly temperatures and late-season snowfall, district officials are fairly confident they’re done calling school and scheduling make-up days.

“Spring is here — I think — and we hope we won’t need any additional days,” Gleysteen said.

Nevertheless, the district has reserved two additional days, June 23 and 24, as make-up days, should inclement weather force school to close again.

“A lot of it is just absolutely chance,” Gleysteen said.

For the pessimists in the district, there are a few dates to pay attention to, as well. Graduating seniors are forgiven five school days before the last day of school to coincide with commencement ceremonies. If make-up days should push the district’s schedule beyond that five-day window, the district could be forced to haggle with OSPI over how to proceed.

Moving commencement would be “a problem, because families have made plans with out-of-town relatives and the like,” Gleysteen said.

Barring a nightmare scenario, commencement for CKSD’s high schools and secondary school will proceed as originally planned.

CKSD made up six weather-related off days last year and had one waived by OSPI. The days were made up by keeping students in school for a full day on a few scheduled early release days and by keeping school in session on scheduled vacation days.

This year’s calendar will run a marathon course beginning Monday, the first day back from spring break. Only one holiday – Memorial Day on May 26 — is scheduled between Monday and the last day of school.

Gleysteen did admit that the amount of off-days this year — three — didn’t tell the full story of Kitsap’s wild winter.

“I think that ... this was a colder and messier winter than most,” Gleysteen said. “I think this was a winter above average in terms of getting up early and checking things out.”

Gleysteen would know, as one of a handful of district staffers who shows up in the early morning hours to assess road conditions and possibly call school on bad weather days.

As for the district’s budget, off-days haven’t contributed to any “significant” hits, due to the fact that the make-up days occur within the work year, Gleysteen said.

“Our funding is not impacted and our costs really aren’t, either,” he said.

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