Beginning next school year, the Elkhorn Public Schools, for the first time, will automatically make up its first two snow days.
In the past, the district has absorbed the first few days missed because of snow or cold, said Superintendent Steve Baker. Only if the district accumulated a number of snow days would it begin converting vacation days to school days.
The shift, among the school calendar changes the school board approved Monday, would automatically replace the first snow day during the 2014-15 year with a Friday school day at the end of April 2015. A second snow day, if needed, would be made up by adding a day at the end of the school year.
If a second snow day isn't required, summer vacation would start a day earlier.
Board member Cal Bull said the second makeup day should come in the middle of the year, when students still have a chance to improve grades. But Baker said administrators were unable to find another day.
Added time with teachers is good for students, he said.
In the past 15 years, the district has reported 2.8 snow days a year, Baker said. So far this year, it has missed only one day.
The change also means teachers will know they won't have to report on the first two snow days, he said.
The district also added two other student days, one by negotiating an added day under teacher contracts and the second by converting an in-service day to a student day.
Also Monday, the board gave first-round approval to a policy change that will improve access of certain clubs to district facilities.
Under the change, community clubs made up entirely of Elkhorn students would be given third priority in scheduling time in district facilities, behind school groups and school-affiliated groups.
The Elkhorn school district has three such community clubs — lacrosse, bowling and trap shooting — that aren't recognized by the Nebraska State Activities Association.
A final vote is required before the policy change is approved.