Senate approves additional calamity days for Ohio schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Senate approved House Bill 416 Wednesday giving school districts four extra calamity days for the 2013-2014 school year.

Numerous schools across the state have already used the legally allotted number of calamity days due to the harsh winter weather.

“No one could have predicted the severity of cold weather and heavy snow we’ve experienced already this winter,” said Senate President Keith Faber . “This bill provides additional flexibility to our schools to keep our kids safe when we encounter difficult weather.”

In order to use the extra four calamity days, the school district must use its four contingency days first.

Schools were required to have a plan on file for the school year which included five contingency days. Contingency days are scheduled days off that can be added as school days if needed in order to keep the district under the allotted number of calamity days.

Districts also have the option to substitute a teacher-in-service day for one of the additional calamity days. “Our ultimate goal should always be to ensure student safety during severe weather outbreaks,” said Senator Peggy Lehner , who chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Education. “This initiative does just that while also making certain our students continue to receive thorough instruction and are prepared for the next step in their education.”

The bill also may excuse seniors from attending any make up days after graduation so commencement ceremonies may proceed as planned.

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