After 50 years of waiting, the Chiefs Kingdom can finally rejoice in Kansas City’s second world championship, defeating San Francisco in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, February 2, in Miami.
Lathrop, Plattsburg close school Feb. 5 For the first time in 50
For the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL champions, and many throughout Clinton County will surely be downtown Wednesday, February 5, to help the team celebrate with the traditional parade.
With that in mind, several area schools – anticipating low student and teacher attendance and a shortage of substitute teachers – have called a “red snow day” for Wednesday, February 5.
Both the Clinton County R-III School District (Plattsburg) and Lathrop R-II School District will be out of session, while East Buchanan C-1 (Gower) will remain in school.
The decision to cancel school on a day without winter weather doesn’t come lightly for school officials, and extends far beyond attending the parade.
Dr. Sandy Steggall, the superintendent of schools in Plattsburg, said several factors played into the decision to reschedule the day. She said attendance for both students and teachers would see a drastic drop if they stayed in school. She cited the 2015 Royals parade downtown, during which Plattsburg stayed in session but saw student attendance plummet to 64.8 percent.
Attendance is an important metric for school districts both in and out of the classroom, as a portion of education funding is based on average daily attendance (ADA), which also accounts for points in the Annual Performance Report.
Dr. Steggall said she took all of these factors into account, and also surveyed the staff as to whether they intended to take the day off for the parade. Substitute teachers are hard to come by in such instances, due both to the high demand and their shared interest in attending the parade. Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Steggall said that a day in which four out of 10 students could be gone and many full-time teachers will be absent isn’t a great recipe for a quality instructional day.
Still, school districts aren’t required to shy away from the day. East Buchanan Superintendent Dr. John Newell also surveyed his staff and found only a minimal number of teachers were asking for the day off, and they were able to lock down enough substitute teachers to make up the difference.
Dr. Newell added that parents would still be welcomed to check their students out to attend the parade if they wish.
The day also would have implications on the East Buchanan calendar. Dr. Newell explained that the calendar has enough built-in hours to meet the state’s regular requirements and while also meeting the threshold for forgiven weather days – no matter how many snow days the district might end up with, they wouldn’t need to make any up because they are already built in. But the state only includes weather-related cancelations into those figures.
As it stands, East Buchanan is already at seven and a half snow days this year.