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Final snow day makeup plan

Posted on Feb. 28, 2017


Thanks to all who provided input on our initial proposal for making up snow days this year. Your suggestions ran the gamut from asking us to add even more days than proposed to requesting we not add any days at all. But the majority of your responses were in support of the creative solution we proposed. 

As you recall, we sent the proposal out to families on Feb. 3, which turned out to be yet another snow day. Keeping your feedback in mind, we weighed a variety of options for making up for that extra snow day. We sought to determine if it could be accomplished in a meaningful way without pushing the school year even farther into June, which proved to be significantly more challenging than you would imagine. In the end, the Riverdale School Board approved the plan outlined below in collaboration with the Riverdale Teachers Association. 

Here is a summary of the approved snow day makeup plan, followed by answers to your frequently asked questions. Should you have additional questions or personal concerns, please contact the schools directly.




Jan. 19-20

RHS winter conferences converted to instructional days.
RGS students attended classes as originally planned.

March 6

Planned teacher work day on March 6 moves to March 17.

March 6 is converted to instructional day at both schools.

March 15-16

End of term moves from March 3 to March 16 at both schools.

RHS finals move to March 15-16.

Cancel RGS spring conferences scheduled for March 16-17. March 16 will now be an instructional day for RGS students.

March 17

Teacher work day for both schools – no students (converted from original date of March 6)

April 21

Teacher work day converted to instructional day at both schools.

April 27-28

Cancel RHS spring conferences.

RGS students already scheduled to attend classes.

May 12*

Planned RGS teacher work day is converted to instructional day at the grade school.

RHS students already scheduled to attend classes.

June 2

RHS Senior Day Out converted to instructional day for seniors.

June 6

RHS Graduation remains June 6. Rehearsal remains June 5. Senior finals remain the same, and seniors do not return after graduation.

June 8

RGS 8th grade promotion remains June 8, with 8th graders having a half-day on June 7 and not attending school on June 8 or 9.

June 12, 13, 14

Add these three days to the end of the year for both schools.

  • RHS finals for 9th-11th grades will be June 13-14.
  • RGS 8th graders will have three days of optional learning opportunities planned.
  • The final day for students at both schools will be June 14.

* Date noted with an asterisk is being announced for the first time. It was not part of the original proposal.




Why not eliminate early release Wednesdays for the rest of the year instead of adding days at the end?

Riverdale administrators and school board explored many options when it came to making up snow days – early release Wednesdays among them. However, the time afforded for professional development on these days is deeply valued by our leaders and teachers. This time allows our staff to continually improve practices and instruction across all grade levels, helps teachers meet annual goals and addresses school improvement initiatives. Examples include ongoing work on the Coalition of Essential Schools principles and Habits of Mind, curriculum adoption, addressing standardized testing scores, inclusion and equity training, preparation for safety response drills, CPR and first aid training, guest speakers, emphasis on writing and reading strategies and more. This work has a direct impact on the instruction your children receive in the classroom. We are dedicated to continuing on this path and not halting the tremendous progress made over the past few years.


What if travel plans prevent my students from attending the extra days? Can they take finals early?

Riverdale High School: It is important to note that leaving before the end of school means that students may be missing important review time, along with final exams. We will address students who are unable to attend finals on a case-by-case basis, depending on the course, the number of students in a particular class who will be absent during finals, and the mastery of the subject by the individual student. The key factors for handling this matter are early notification through a pre-arranged absence form (found on the high school website under Resources > Handbooks, Policies & Forms) and working in collaboration with individual teachers. 

Riverdale Grade School: While meaningful activities and instruction will take place in the final days of school, the child’s final grades and final report cards will not be impacted by families leaving early if arrangements are made ahead of time. Please fill out a prearranged absence form (found on the grade school website under School Day > Handbooks, Policies & Forms) well in advance so teachers are informed and can plan accordingly.


What can I do to make up for missed conferences?

As we mentioned in the original proposal, we value communication between parents and teachers. Even without formal conferences, teachers will continue to reach out through standard channels and contact parents for urgent matters. Should you feel you need to talk with a teacher about a particular question, you may email the teacher directly, request to schedule a meeting or plan a discussion via phone at a mutually agreeable time within the teacher’s contracted work hours. 

Also, please remember that ParentVUE provides a glimpse into student grades as currently reflected in teacher gradebooks. High school teachers are required to update their gradebooks on Thursday night; therefore, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the best times for parents to find accurate information. Middle school teachers make updates approximately every two weeks. 

Parents who need assistance accessing ParentVUE can contact the front office at either school. As a reminder, parents should not share their ParentVUE login credentials with their students, as this tool allows parents to update their family's demographic/contact information directly in our student information system. Students can – and should – access their gradebook information via StudentVUE, which now uses the students' Riverdale Google account username/password credentials for logins.


Why are you adding optional days for 8th graders after promotion?

We acknowledge the decision around 8th grade plans is complex and there are opposing beliefs about what should happen regarding instructional time and scheduled promotion activities. Our plan is intended to meet these various perspectives by providing additional learning opportunities while not mandating all plans be reworked. This concept does fall within what is allowed for meeting state requirements. Teachers will have a strong voice in creating the plans for these additional learning days. Expect more communication to go out to 8th grade families.