The Ohio Senate today gave approval to the conference committee report on Amended Substitute House Bill 416, which provides four additional calamity days for Ohio schools to use during the 2013-2014 academic year. Many schools have already exhausted their legally allotted number of calamity days due to the unusually harsh winter.
“We have faced an unusually harsh winter this year,” said Obhof. “House Bill 416 will help give school districts the flexibility they need to deal with the high number of snow days.”
The legislation, initially sponsored by Representatives Tony Burkley (R–Payne) and Brian Hill (R–Zanesville), will now expand the number of allowable calamity days by four, provided the school makes up at least four days from their previously approved contingency plan.
Each district was required by law to have a plan on file for the 2013-2014 school year that includes 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.
Keeping with the plan as originally approved by the Senate, the legislation provides additional flexibility to schools by enabling them to adjust their contingency plans and make up missed time by increasing the school day by 30 minute increments to account for lost instruction hours. It also reopens the application period by which schools may utilize “blizzard bags,” which are packages of assignments that students must complete at home in order to account for a missed school day. Applications for blizzard bags were originally due to the Ohio Department of Education in August of 2013 for the current school year.
Under Substitute House Bill 416, districts may also excuse seniors from attending any make up days after graduation so commencement ceremonies may proceed as planned.
The bill will now proceed to the Governor for his signature.

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