Flagstaff schools roll out new plan to make up for record snow days

Flagstaff Unified School District cancelled school 10 times this school year due to snow and ice.
While school districts already have snow days built into their calendar, record snowfall means districts have to get creative to meet the state requirements.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:46 AM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - While the snow is much needed during Arizona’s drought, it has disrupted school schedules in Flagstaff.

After Flagstaff was snowed in back in December, twice in January, then again this month, Flagstaff Unified School District has had to cancel school 10 times because of unsafe travel due to snow and ice on the roads. Superintendent Michael Penca said having so many cancellations is unusual. In fact, the district told us FUSD has only had to cancel school two days in the past two school years, leaving one extra makeup day in the calendar.

The district’s calendar for the 2022-2023 school year had two makeup days for inclement weather and extra instructional time, which was used for the Snow days in December and January, but when last week’s storm added three more snow days, the district had to come up with a new plan. Starting March 1st, the district will use half days as regular dismissal full days to make up for this month’s snow days.

FUSD Communications Director Joshua Butler said, “Our students and staff and families are really just wanting to get back into a regular routine and that means going back to school five days a week and not having to deal with all this snow we’ve been having.” Two half days is equivalent to and will make up for one snow day. The new schedule will extend into the month of May. You can find the early dismissal dates changed below:

  • Wednesday, March 1, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, March 3, 2023 (elementary)
  • *Wednesday, March 8, 2023 (elementary and secondary)
  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, March 24, 2023 (elementary)
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, April 7, 2023 (elementary)

*Parent-Teacher Conferences previously scheduled for the afternoon of March 8 may be rescheduled with teachers.  Early releases for both elementary and secondary students will continue on Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10, for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

To make up for February’s missed days, the school released the following schedule for April as well:

First Cancellation (February 22):
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, April 14, 2023 (elementary)
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, April 21, 2023 (elementary)
Second Cancellation (February 23):
  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, April 28, 2023 (elementary)
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, May 5, 2023 (elementary)
Third Cancellation (February 24):
  • Wednesday, May 10, 2023 (secondary)
  • Friday, May 12, 2023 (elementary)
  • Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (secondary)
  • **Thursday, May 18, 2023 (elementary)

Now, with another storm on its way this week, the School District may have to use more half days to make up for additional cancellations. The district told Arizona’s Family that this schedule does not include FUSD staff members, and they will have to make up for the snow days in another way.