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Blizzard Bags


How are your schools marking the Blizzard Bag days on their calendars?  Are they leaving the W or are they marking it as a C?  Is this a district by district decision? 



Edited Sep 19, 2014 01:13 PM
asked March 12, 2014 02:27 PM


3 Answers

Best answer
We don't really have any definite determination on this, but really either way this is handled the employees should receive the proper credit for the days:

If they use a "C" for the blizzard bag day and then an "M" at the end of the school year they will be receiving credit for  retirement and also a day for EMIS reporting.

If they use a W for the Blizzard bag day they will get credit for retirement and a day for EMIS reporting.

I am almost thinking that since the work is actually out there for the student to make-up that they could leave a W for the Blizzard Bag days on the calendar and then any other days beyond the three Blizzard bag days can be marked as C and then an M entered for the end of the school year.

As stated in the one response that Carol had found from ODE this may be up to the district how they want to handle this on their calendars.

answered March 13, 2014 10:55 AM
Found the following ODE tickets in Unicenter:

2433599 and 2441832, plus some others (search blizzard):

The answer to both was:
The calamity day -- not the day the assignments are due -- is the "blizzard bag day." When the assignments are due is an internal matter that is not reported to EMIS. The calamity day for which they used their first blizzard bag day should be counted as a calamity day that is then made up. It should be reported as a day in session with attendance based on completion of assignments.

When asked further about reporting staff the answer was:
In terms of EMIS reporting, calamity days and calamity days made up are simply counts. We don't collect dates associated with these days, for students or for staff. I cannot answer district-level questions that relate to how your software accounts for and counts these days; I can only answer in terms of EMIS reporting requirements. 

Basically from what I have read it sounds like for the student reporting they can report a calamity date and calamity days made up but it doesn't answer how to report staff. The statement: " It should be reported as a day in session with attendance based on completion of assignments." sounds like if enough assignments are completed for the blizzard bag then that day is considered a school day. If I am interpreting that correctly it sounds like a work day or makeup day would be entered for the staff. Unfortunately, they don't give a straight answer when it comes to staff reporting. I would also be interested in knowing how others are interpreting this and advising their schools.
answered March 12, 2014 03:36 PM
Since I was one of the ITC's that posted a ticket to ODE on this blizzard bag issue, in which I was really trying to ask how to report THE STAFF, not the student, I felt they were vague in some parts of their response but did gain the knowledge that it didn't matter what date the student finished the blizzard bag assignments because that was a separate issue from the staff not being in the building on a calamity day.  Basically, if staff are not in school on a calamity day, mark that day with a C.  Anything over the allowable amount of calamity days needs an offsetting M for make up days.  Since Deidre did make the statement that they don't look at dates, but instead, counts, you could use a Saturday date for an M as long as you remember to include that date in your pay period during INICAL.  Saturdays are needed due to ODJFS work week counts, so districts should be using them anyway, so why not tag an M on one of those Saturdays.  ODE won't see it, won't care about it, as long as the calamity days missed and the make up days worked are reported properly, 'in whole', at the end of the reporting period. 

I am not advising my districts on what to do because I won't stick my neck out and give them the wrong answer.  If ODE says 'it's a district decision' on how to report things in 'our software', then I'm going to let the district make their own decision and not be liable for giving incorrect advise based on a vague answer from ODE staff.   They should just try their hardest to accurately report the C's for all calamity days, and the needed number of M for make up days so that in the end,they show the teachers made up their time for calamity days over the max.
answered March 13, 2014 01:44 PM

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