More snow days could mean Saturday school for some Tacoma students

The last day of school will come later for Tacoma students this year as district officials make up for a snow day earlier this week.

More missed school days could be just around the corner as the region prepares for a storm to hit Friday.

Tacoma Public Schools canceled class Monday due to snow and ice conditions and will make up that school day in June, pushing the last day of school to Wednesday, June 19.

Any additional days of missed school will be added to the end of the school year, but for one group of students, it could also mean weekend classes.

“We may have to start Saturday school for seniors,” Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel told The News Tribune Thursday.

Seniors are required by state law to have at least 180 days of instruction in order to graduate. Since graduation occurs mid-June, Saturday school would ensure that seniors can reach that requirement, Voelpel said.

Saturday school would only be held for graduating seniors. All other grades would make up class at the end of the school year.

District officials don’t have many options for makeup days. After a teacher strike in September delayed the start of school by seven days, district officials shortened holiday breaks. Spring Break, for example, was cut from five days to three days, April 3-5.

The Puyallup School District also is finding little wiggle room in its schedule after a strike delayed the start of school by three days. Makeup days were tacked on to the end of the school year.

With the snow day on Monday, the last day of school for Puyallup is now Monday, June 24. Any additional snow days accrued will be added at the end of the school year, stretching farther into late June.

“It may be that we have to change that day again,” Puyallup School District spokesman Brian Fox said.

Voelpel assured that the Tacoma district is watching the forecast closely and will notify families accordingly.

“We know we have a lot of decisions to make as the storm comes in,” he said.