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Calendar Changes for 2020-2021 School Year

Dear Fort Osage Families:


In a recent review of student attendance hours in the calendar we identified a glitch in technology which caused the attendance hours to calculate incorrectly. DESE requires that Districts have a minimum of 1,044 hours of student attendance during the school year.  We have been running under the premise that we have 1046.4 hours in our calendar when we actually have 1035.2 hours. Therefore, the District will have to make up the 8.8 student attendance hours that we are short within the current school year. 


In a typical school year meeting the required student hours is not an issue for Fort Osage as we are well over the 1,044 hours. This year, with the recommendation of the Jackson County Health Department, the start date was pushed back to September 8 and no days were added to the end of the calendar. Additionally, we lengthened winter break by making December 21 and 22 non-student attendance days. As these decisions were being made, calculations were run to ensure that enough hours remained in the calendar. The calculation showed that we had 1,046.4 hours until recently when the error was discovered.  


We brainstormed many options for making up the 8.8 hours. After taking several things into consideration, we determined that the best option is to make up the time with a full day of student attendance on May 26 (which was scheduled to be a half day for students) and add a full day of student attendance on May 27.   


In addition, DESE allows school districts to make up 36 hours towards the minimum of 1,044 hours by implementing an approved Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) plan during inclement weather days. The 36 hours equates to five school days for Fort Osage. Since we have already exhausted the five days of AMI, per current DESE guidelines, we will no longer be implementing alternative methods of instruction on inclement weather days this year. 


We looked extensively at the calendar to determine the best way to add future inclement weather days and believe that adding them to the end of the school year would be the least intrusive for our students and staff. Thus, the next five inclement weather days will be added to the end of the school calendar. Below you will find how the District will address any future inclement weather days.


Day 6 missed would be made up on Friday, May 28th

Day 7 missed would be made up on Tuesday, June 1

Day 8 missed would be made up on Wednesday, June 2

Day 9 missed would be made up on Thursday, June 3

Day 10 missed would be made up on Friday, June 4


If it becomes necessary to add more additional days to the school calendar, we will consider alternative options to make up the necessary hours.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for students and families. Thank you for your continued support of our school district.