Changes Coming to Dist. 117 “Snow Days” Next School Year

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 26, 2023 at 2:44pm

Weather for the week remains hot for the area, but Jacksonville School District District 117 has been thinking about snow days. The District 117 Board of Education approved revisions to the calendars for the next two school years on Wednesday.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says the revisions will change the way the district handles emergency days, more commonly known as snow days, at the end of the school year.

It was actually the new assistant principal from Riverton Matt Moore who brought his idea of what they do with the calendar to us. We brought it to the teachers and they agreed that, instead of adding the five days at the end of the year, which kind of creates this no man’s land of not knowing when we’re going to be off. Which stands in the way of planning vacations, etc., etc. That what they are doing is, they use the last Fridays of May as the emergency days.”

Ptacek says one of those five days will alternate between Casimir Pulaski Day, and Election Day, depending on the year. Ptacek explained how the new format will work for the upcoming school year.

We are using Pulaski Day, so then we’ll use the other four Fridays in May. So if we use two snow days, we’ll come to school on Pulaski Day, we’ll come to school on that first Friday in May, but the other three Fridays are off.

If we use all five- we go to school on Pulaski Day and all four of those Fridays. If it’s a day like this year where we don’t use any, then we don’t come to school on Pulaski Day and we don’t go to school those four Fridays.

What that does is, everybody knows the last day of school. Everybody knows when their summer begins so people can plan for their summer right away.”

The new calendar paired with the board’s decision a few years ago to move graduation up into May means staff and families alike can plan for vacations more easily.

District 117 returns to school for the 2023/2024 school year on Wednesday, August 16th. Online registration is open now at In-person registration days will be held at each school on Thursday, July 27th from 2:00 to 7:00 pm, and Friday, July 28th from 8:00 am to noon.