Making up for lost time

Published 8:04 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

After frolicking in the snow from a pair of winter storms over the past two weeks, Roanoke-Chowan area schoolchildren returned to class on Feb. 3.

Now the bad news….that missed time away from school due to the inclement weather needs to be made up in order to fulfill the required instructional time built into each academic year calendar.

That fact has left local school officials with the daunting task of scheduling make-up days….much to the dismay of the students.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald checked with all public and private school systems in the four counties in an effort to discover how they will go about rescheduling the instructional hours missed due to the two recent bouts with Old Man Winter.

With the exception of two local school systems, all missed a combined five days (Jan. 22-23, and again from Jan. 29-31). The two exceptions are Bethel Assembly Christian Academy in Askewville (four days: Jan. 22, and Jan. 29-31), and Lawrence Academy in Merry Hill (six days: Jan. 22-23, and Jan. 28-31).

As of Monday, none of the educational systems – to include the public schools in Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties, as well as the three other local private schools (Ahoskie Christian, Northeast Academy, and Ridgecroft School) – had yet to announce make-up days.

At Ahoskie Christian, a spokesperson said they may tentatively look at some of the remaining half days on the school calendar, using them instead as full instructional days to help make up for the lost time.

Bertie Public Schools uses a planning committee to suggest make-up dates to the system’s Superintendent.

A spokesperson at Lawrence Academy said there are a few days worked into the 2013-14 school calendar to absorb some of the missed instructional hours due to inclement weather.

Lawrence is also facing another issue – that of feeling the financial impact of skyrocketing propane costs. The spokesperson said that thermostats in all of the buildings on campus have been cut back to 65 degrees (from a normal 69-degree setting during the winter months). That is being done in an attempt to lower propane usage. Parents of Lawrence students were notified in advance of this decision, advising them to dress their children appropriately.

All of the school systems contacted by the News-Herald said they would advise the newspaper of their make-up days. That information will be published in print as well as on the newspaper’s website ( and its Facebook page.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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