School ‘Daze’

Published 6:38 pm Sunday, March 22, 2015

It was fun when Old Man Winter interrupted the school calendar last month by giving the kids a few unexpected days off.

Now comes the reality of making up for lost time in the classroom.

Public school systems in the Roanoke-Chowan area have announced make-up days due to February’s inclement winter weather.

The latest announcement is from Hertford County Public Schools. Their Board of Education has approved changes in the school calendar in an effort to make-up 2.5 days. The other days missed due to winter weather were absorbed thanks to school officials “building in” a certain amount of inclement weather days when the calendar was initially developed prior to the start of the current 2014-15 academic year.

HCPS students are now scheduled to attend class on Friday, March 27. That day was originally set aside as a teacher workday. It also marks the end of the grading quarter. The new quarter begins March 30.

Three other dates, which were originally slated as half-days in the classroom, will now be used as full instructional days. Those days are Thursday, April 2; Monday, April 27; and Monday, May 18.

Like the other local districts, HCPS officials opted not to use any of its Easter (spring) break (April 3, and April 6-10) as make-up days.

Hertford County Early College High School modified its calendar by adding instructional days to the third quarter (March 9-12). By doing so, graduation remains as scheduled on May 22.

Bertie County Public School officials have also re-tooled its calendar due to missed instructional time thanks to the winter weather.

With the exception of Aulander Elementary (which is a year-round school and operates on a different calendar), the BCPS make-up days are Monday, March 30; and Saturday, May 30. The Bertie County Board of Education also opted to add 30 minutes daily to the weekday schedules of the three high schools (Bertie, Bertie STEM, and Early College).

Earlier this month, Northampton County Public School officials devised a plan to make-up the days of lost instructional time as well as early releases and delayed openings due to adverse winter weather.

All totaled, NCPS students missed eight days (Jan. 14; Feb. 17-20; and Feb. 25-27) due to the weather. However, due to the fact that school officials had previously “banked” three days worth of instructional hours (“snow days” built into the calendar), students will only have to make-up five days. One of those make-up days took place on Saturday, Jan. 24 (in lieu of Jan. 14).

The Northampton County Board of Education has adopted a plan that calls for full instructional make-up days on Thursday, March 26 (was a scheduled half-day); Friday, March 27 (was scheduled as a teacher workday); and Wednesday-Thursday (June 11-12; add-on days to the end of the normal school year).

Additionally, the school board approved extending the instructional day by 30 minutes from March 16 to May 22 in order to reclaim the time missed due to delayed opening and early dismissal because of inclement weather. All schools will dismiss at 3:30 p.m. on those days.

State law requires all public schools to be in session for at least 1,025 hours or 185 days during an academic year.

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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