by Valerie Verkamp
Harsh winter weather conditions forced school officials in the Park Hill School District to cancel school five days during the 2013-2014 school year.
School cancellations on Jan. 6, Feb. 4, 5, 6, and March 3 considerably altered the Park Hill academic school calendar.
Initially, students were set to wrap up the 2013-2014 school year with a half day scheduled on May 23 but Old Man Winter had other plans. The academic calendar was revised several times in consideration of those five school cancellations and pushed the last day of school to a half day on Monday, June 2.
With the district's new summer school program, known as Summer Journey, rolling out June 2, the district had to decide whether or not to push back summer school or rework the last day of school.
At a meeting on Thursday, the Park Hill Board of Education approved a measure to amend the total number of school days to 176. The last day of school for students and teachers in the Park Hill School District will be a half day on May 30, rather than June 2.
Prior to the 7-0 vote, school officials considered obligatory state statutes and actual school attendance. The Park Hill School District's academic calendar will still meet state requirements.
Missouri statute requires an annual school calendar to consist of at least 174 days for a five-day school week or 1,044 hours.
School officials speculated there would be a low school attendance rate on Monday, June 2 and ultimately decided to adjust the last day of school.
In other news, parents wanting to help out in the Park Hill School District soon must undergo a screening process.
The new policy, beginning August 2014, will require all volunteers, who may be unsupervised around students, to complete a screened volunteer form. The two-page form allows the district to access one's criminal record. The form includes a list of fifteen rules volunteers must follow.
A form can be downloaded at www.parkhill.k12.mo.us.