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Winter storm causes Oak Harbor’s seniors graduation complications

Though many students were relishing last week’s snow days, those relaxing weekdays spent at home are quickly causing a problem for Oak Harbor School District.

“This is my 24th year at Oak Harbor, and this is the first time we’ve had four snow days in one year,” Superintendent Rick Schulte said Monday.

Because the schools rarely have multiple snow days, only one makeup day was built into the school schedule, a factor that could alter graduation plans.

State law requires that students have 180 days of school each year, while high school seniors are only required to have 175. Because of this, seniors usually graduate on the first Monday of the last scheduled week of the school year and have the remaining days off. This year, that made June 13 graduation day.

However, due to the snow days, seniors would be lacking eight days of school instead of the state-allowed five, if that event date holds.

But Schulte said he has received a lot of feedback from concerned parents about the possibility of the graduation date changing, especially from those who have already booked venues for the senior party or who have relatives with plane tickets already made for the occasion.

“It now seems highly unlikely, probably impossible for us to change the date of graduation,” Shculte said.

Schulte said the district will likely announce this week how the seniors will make up those extra days. One suggestion at the board meeting on Monday was to have seniors come in for classes over spring break.

Seniors in the Coupeville School District will not be facing any such problem. Though the district has also had four snow days, students made up two resulting from November’s storm during their scheduled winter break. 

Additionally, district officials built in two snow days in this year’s schedule, which will be utilized.

 

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