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Following snow cancellations, Jacob Oliva talks with Arkansas superintendents about AMI days



Little Rock, Arkansas – Concerned parents and educators have been informing us about how schools will make up these most recent snow days for the past week.

Due to the winter weather, the Benton School District lost five days of instruction. Superintendent Kim Anderson is currently considering how to make up those lost days.

Although Anderson stated that they still haven’t determined exactly how to make up the lost time, her chat with Education Secretary Jacob Oliva gave them peace of mind for the future.

Oliva met with superintendents early on Thursday morning to explain how they would make up those missed snow days for the remainder of the year.

It came down to two choices in the end: extending the school year by days or extending each school day by minutes.

“By saying, “Here’s a worksheet… go home and fill this out or log into a Zoom for an hour,’ is equivalent to making up that day of instruction is ridiculous,” Oliva said. “When we look at those minimum expectations, it’s 178 days of school or 1,068 hours of instruction.”

According to Oliva, schools that match the criteria can switch to AMI days in the event of bad weather.

“If you’re a school district that goes 1,750 hours a school year, and we’re dealing with severe weather, and we are not going to be able to have school today… to maintain that continuity… that connection, and they want to pivot to an alternative learning day,” Oliva said. “They have the flexibility to do that as long as they meet the minimum requirement.”

To switch from a days-counted calendar to an hours-counted calendar, school districts can apply for waivers from the Arkansas Department of Education.


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