Snow Days 101: Understanding Ohio’s new Calamity Days policy

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Last year's rough winter forced many Northeast Ohio schools to exceed the allotted number of state calamity days, prompting Ohio to change its system.

Instead of requiring schools to complete a minimum number of days per school year, the state now requires schools to fulfill a minimum number of hours.

"Schools were responsive with a lot of different innovative ideas about how to continue instruction last year with our inclement weather, so hours will be one more way to help them create that flexibility," said Ohio Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Ross.

Under the new rules, Ohio requires a minimum 910 hours for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade and 1,000 hours for students in grades 7-12.

"Most school districts go to school longer than the minimum amount of time, so it builds in that cushion of opportunities in case we have winters like we've had in the past," Ross said.

Shaker Heights High School, for example, has scheduled nearly 1,155 school hours, or 154 hours more than the state minimum. That means Shaker Heights High can use up to 24 calamity days and remain within state limits. The district would only have to make up hours if it goes beyond that.

"We have some flexibility with going to an hourly system, which has been beneficial for us, and we're not as nervous about how many days we're going to have," said Shaker Heights City Schools Superintendent Gregory Hastings.

Hours vary depending on district.

You can find more information about the new system RIGHT HERE.

Read more on calamity days.

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