When 11 snow days threatened to delay graduation for seniors in Whatcom County's Ferndale school district, the teens did something unusual: They started Saturday school.
For four weeks in a row, seniors agreed to attend school six days a week, and they just held their last Saturday class, which will allow them to hold their graduation ceremony June 10.
The rest of the district’s students will be in school until June 27.
The stormy winter weather that hit Whatcom County has forced several districts to be creative. Many have already held classes during spring break or on other previously scheduled days off, and most have extended the school year. Several have obtained waiver permission from the state to hold fewer than the mandatory 180 school days each year.
Nooksack Valley School District decided to bump graduation from June 9 to the following Friday. Superintendent Mark Johnson says families were given plenty of notice.
"It feels great when you're having a snow day. It's not so great when you have to make them up," he said. But with winter weather so severe that Whatcom County declared an emergency, Johnson said, "we didn't want kids out in it, let alone driving in it." He said the district had to err on the side of safety.