Snow days push back Hermiston graduation, last day of school

Snow covers the base of the Hermiston butte on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Snowfall so far in December has led Hermiston School District to cancel three days of school and push back graduation by a week in June.

Hermiston High School’s 2017 graduation date will be moved back a week in order to accommodate snow days.

Commencement ceremonies will now be on June 10 instead of June 3, giving Hermiston School District room to make up day for snow days Friday, Dec. 9, Thursday, Dec. 15, and Friday, Dec. 16, and for up to two additional days as needed.

If no more school days are canceled due to inclement weather, students’ last day will be Friday, June 9, and teachers’ last day will be Monday, June 10.

According to a news release, seniors would not meet state standards for the “instructional hour minimum” before graduation without the added days.

“We understand that changing the graduation date and extending the school year is challenging for everyone involved,” Superintendent Fred Maiocco said in a statement. “However, we believe this decision is in the best interest of our entire community. We remain hopeful that with six months advance notification everyone will be able to respond flexibly to this difficult situation.”

The district did not leave any room for make-up days in the 2016-2017 calendar and the Oregon Department of Education no longer gives an allowance for inclement weather in meeting minimum instructional hour requirements for students.

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