The last day of classes for students in the Waterloo School District will be on Monday, June 9th (2014), even if there are no more cancelled days this year. Earlier this month, district officials said they were considering the possibility of using Good Friday (April 18, 2014) as a snow make-up day to keep classes from going into the second week of June.

However, after exploring the Good Friday option further, district officials have determined that it would be logistically impossible to hold classes on April 18th. Therefore, the district’s five snow days will all be made up, as scheduled, at the end of the school year.

Here is the release from the Waterloo School District on its decision not to use Good Friday as a snow make-up day.

WATERLOO—We WILL NOT be using April 18 (Good Friday) as a snow make-up day. We will continue, as scheduled, to make up all five snow days at the end of the school year. Students’ last day of school will be Monday, June 9. [NOTE: Cunningham has already made up its snow days during intersession and will end as scheduled on June 2.]

Several months ago, staff and parents began asking board members and district administrators if we could consider making up days like some surrounding districts were doing. [Some districts use spring break; some use conference days; some use the MLK holiday, and some use Good Friday as make-up days.] We quickly ruled out a number of options because of our bargaining agreements and/or the expense of canceling professional development, leaving Good Friday as the only real option for this year.

We did this to potentially avoid having students return to school on a Monday in the second week of June. We highly suspected student attendance and student learning would be better on April 18 than on June 9.

In January and February, we initially discussed this with various groups (staff, administrators, parents, clergy, community) and gained enough support to move forward in the investigation. In the past few weeks, we have been working through contract issues and logistics of the day. Last week we specifically asked which employees had family or religious conflicts or non-refundable travel reservations. We also performed an analysis of the number of adults required to support the teaching faculty such as paraprofessionals, custodians and cafeteria workers.

It is clear that we WILL NOT have enough substitutes to adequately cover for the number of teachers who are not able or willing to work on that day due to travel plans, family plans, religious reasons.

Again, we have made the decision to NOT use April 18 (Good Friday) as a snow make-up day. Thank you for your patience and for your flexibility. Please know we are appreciative that a significant number of our staff was willing to consider this potential option.