Only February, and Mich. school districts quickly running out of 'snow days'

There's no day like a snow day - but it's only February and many school systems are already running out of their alloted days. Superintendents now have a big decision to make.

The superintendents and other administrators from across the state met in Detroit Wednesday for their annual conference, and naturally the abundance of recent snow days was the big topic for discussion. 

Novi's already used five; Hazel park, one of the first to close Wednesday has used four now; Ecorse: eight. And Alpena?

"We're approaching 12 at this point and it's still very early in the year. We had snow on April 17th of last year," said Dr. John VonWagoner, Superintendent of Alpena Public Schools. 

The Michigan Department of Education says when the districts' six allowable days have been used because of conditions out of their control, like weather and power outages, up to three additional days can be granted through the Additional Forgiven Time Waiver.

"We definitely anticipate we'll need it. We did last year," Dr. VonWagoner said. 

With the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, Peter Spadafore says that while districts must show a need for that extra time, the waiver can be extremely helpful come the end of the school year.

"Adding those days becomes complicated because families have vacations planned, alternative plans have been made for summer camps and things like that, daycare," he said.

Spadafore says the state's 550 districts have all been affected differently so far this winter and may require legislation to waive instructional hours.