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HSD extends school year, PSD ponders

The Hermiston School District Board of Directors has decided to extend the school year by three days, putting the last day of school on Thursday, June 13. Teachers’ final day will be June 14. Graduation will still be held June 6 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

Pendleton School Superintendent Chris Fritsch says he’s still exploring ways of making up his district’s eight snow days and three late starts without having to extend the school year. He says the possibility of asking the state for a waiver is still a possibility.

“I think we jinx ourselves,” he said. “Every time we start thinking, ‘Hey, we might have a plan,’ something else comes up. So, the waiver is an option, but it has both pros and cons.”

The bad part about a waiver is once it’s granted, the school district cannot file for a waiver in the following year no matter how bad the weather is. Fritsch said there is no perfect decision, but they want to ensure that whatever plan they choose doesn’t just include extra hours, but also includes quality hours of instruction.

“It’s going to be a challenge, whatever we do,” he said. “We know that it’s not ideal, but when we put these calendars together, we don’t have the crystal ball with the weather.”

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