Public Hearing and Vote to be held April 8 on Snow Makeup Days

JOHNSTON, Ia. (March 27, 2024) — Will the 2023-2024 school year be extended by snow makeup days?Snow Makeup Days

Superintendent Dr. Nikki Roorda has recommended making up all three eligible days (the fourth day isn’t eligible because teachers worked those two early-out days). 

The Johnston school board will hold a public hearing and vote on the issue at 6 pm Monday, April 8 in the District Office, 6510 NW 62nd Ave. 

Watch a livestream at

Q & A on Potential Snow Makeup Days

Q: Why would Superintendent Dr. NIkki Roorda recommend making up the three eligible snow days?

A: Dr. Roorda said these were designated as school days in the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar and are there because we feel they are needed. In addition, hourly employees will not get paid for those hours if we do not make up those days.

Q: Did we miss three school days or four this school year?

A:  Students missed four days of school in 2023-2024 due to weather. That includes three snow days (Jan. 9, 12 and 16, 2024) and two early outs due to heat (Aug. 23 and 24, 2023). June 3-7 are reserved on the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar as potential snow makeup days. Superintendent Dr. Nikki Roorda has recommended making up all three eligible days. The fourth day isn’t eligible because teachers worked on those two early-out days.

Q: If the school board votes to make up those three snow days, when would summer KTC (child care) begin?

A: If the school board votes to designate Monday, June 3 to Wednesday, June 5 as snow makeup days, summer KTC would begin on Monday, June 10. The two days after school — Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7 — would be summer KTC staff training days.

Q: Will students meet the required number of contact hours if we do not make up the snow days? 

A: Yes. Iowa requires schools to have a minimum of 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction in the school calendar. We are currently about 33 hours, or about 5 days over the minimum, without making up for snow days. The Johnston Community School District has historically always created a calendar that is far above the required 1,080 hours in providing instruction to our students.

Q: When was the last time we made up for snow days?

A: Last year. During the 2022-2023 school year, the last day was originally scheduled to be on Friday, May 26, 2023. After three snow days and an additional day at the beginning of the year for staff safety training, the last day of school was adjusted to Thursday, June 1 with a 3-hour early dismissal. 

Q: Will there be any learning happening these last few days of school if the kids have already turned in their iPads?

A: Yes. Only high school seniors will be turning in their iPads this year. That will happen on Thursday, May 23, the day before graduation practice on May 24. Other returning students will keep their iPads, as they have in years past. The reason iPads were turned in last year is because the district got all new iPads.

Q: Why don’t we just go to school April 1, 25 and 26, which are currently scheduled as NO SCHOOL days, so we don’t need to extend the school year? Why can’t we use the days we already have off?

A: The Johnston Community School District values professional development for our staff. The professional development days on April 1 and 25, and the break day on April 26, were negotiated with the unions and approved by the school board in January 2023 following a public hearing. We are contractually required to keep the days as set on the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar.

Q: Why would you require families to change their vacation plans made for that week?

A: Families always have the right to make the best decision for their child(ren). June 3-7 was designated as Potential Snow Makeup Days on the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar since the calendar’s approval in January 2023. The district provides these dates for families so they are aware and can make the decisions best for their family. Families should avoid making plans that week. Similarly, June 2-6, 2025 has been reserved for Potential Snow Makeup Days in the 2024-2025 school year.

Q: What other considerations are there as the school board votes on this issue?

A: Days that are not made up affect our hourly workers, such as associates and nutrition staff. Should the days not be made up, those employees would not get paid for those days. In addition, school provides much more than lessons in the classroom — it also provides breakfast and lunch that some students rely on. Look for an announcement later this spring on the dates and locations of our 2024 free summer lunch program.

Q: I have already provided my feedback on this issue with an email, social media comment, or reply on ParentSquare. Will that count?

A: Not officially. Ultimately, it will be up to the 7-member school board to decide on whether to make up for missed days of school. The official way to provide feedback on this issue is to attend the public hearing which will be held at the school board’s next meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, April 8. This public hearing will be separate from the regular time for public comments. Later in the meeting during Action items, the board will take a vote on this issue. The agenda of that board meeting will be published on our website the afternoon of Friday, April 5. If you can’t attend in person, you can watch the livestream at

Q: If the school board decides against making up the snow days, will teachers still have to work those days?

A: Yes. Per their contract, certified staff covered by JEA (teachers/counselors, nurses) are required to work 194 days. Should the school board decide against bringing students back to school June 3-5, teachers would still be required to work those days.