Gov. Burgum considers waiving days for school closures

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum says he’s willing to consider granting waivers on a case-by-case basis for school districts that have canceled school because of severe winter storms and dangerously cold temperatures in recent weeks.

In a press release sent Friday, the Governor’s Office says for each school day, the state expends roughly $5.5 million to provide for the education of North Dakota children.

In order for school districts to qualify, state law says districts “shall make every effort to reschedule the remaining classes, so that students receive at least the number of full instructional days required,” including:

• Districts may schedule instructional days on the designated snow days that they are required by law to include in their school calendar and use if needed. Make-up days cannot be considered as
part of a waiver application and by law cannot be waived.

• Qualifying districts may utilize one allowed academic day (grace day). A qualifying district is one that schedules school days that are at least 30 minutes longer than required by law.

• Districts may make up missed instructional time by lengthening the school day – i.e., 30 minutes per day and/or scheduling an instructional day on Saturday and/or adding an instructional day to
the end of the school year.

A waiver application period will open March 1 and close March 15. If additional severe winter weather occurs between now and March 15, the application deadline may be extended.