School year extended for Blaine students

By Oliver Lazenby

After snow and ice closed Blaine schools for four days from February 6–9, school will now likely be in session until at least Friday, June 23.

The district is discussing options with the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for waiving additional missed days. If they don’t and the district chooses to make up all four February weather days at the end of the year, kids would be in school until Tuesday, June 27.

However, the district could find a more creative solution, such as making up some of the days during currently scheduled teacher workdays. The district would have to negotiate that particular option with the teacher’s union.

“When we make the days up is still to be determined,” said Tina Padilla, district assistant to the superintendent. “There’s a whole bunch of other options.”

It will take some time to sort the issue out. Before the OSPI can decide on a waiver application, the school’s board of directors must first review and then approve an application. That won’t happen before February 27, the board’s next meeting.

The district is committed to keeping graduation on June 16, according to a statement on its website.

The last day of school for Blaine students was originally scheduled for Thursday, June 15. The district has closed schools for all students eight days so far this year. The previous two years had no weather-related closures.

The district already applied for and received a waiver from the OSPI for two days that high school students missed in September after an electrical explosion closed that school for four days.

Most Whatcom County school districts cancelled classes for the entire week of February 6–10.

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