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Schools set first makeup days

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TARBORO — Students in local schools may have enjoyed a few snow days recently, but they will be paying for the privilege soon when they are in school during previously scheduled breaks.

For Edgecombe County Public School students, the first makeup day comes on Wednesday.

“The planning day that was originally scheduled for Wednesday will now be a regular school day,” said Susan Hoke, communications coordinator for Edgecombe County Public Schools. “We requested preliminary approval for that so we have already passed that information on to students and parents.”

The Edgecombe County school board addressed several adjustments to the school calendar on Monday as it dealt with the fallout from the recent snow days. Edgecombe County Public Schools already have missed seven days because of weather issues this year and Tarboro schools missed an additional day in December because of a major water leak in the town.

In addition to attending school on Wednesday, Edgecombe County students can expect to see an extended first semester, which will now officially end on Jan. 30. As a result, report cards will be delayed until Feb. 6.

“This will allow the high schools to have a couple extra days of instruction before exams begin on Wednesday,” Hoke told the school board.

In addition, early release days originally scheduled for Feb. 13, March 21 and April 25 will now be regular school days, Hoke said.

All of these plans work great, as long as there is no more snow, several school board members noted. However, Superintendent Dr. Valerie Bridges said school leaders are already thinking about that possibility.

“We have talked about what to do in the event there is additional snow,” Bridges said. “We have a couple of people who like to read the almanac and shared with us that we may be expecting more snow in February and March. So, we are sending out a parent survey to ask their opinions on options such as school on Saturdays or during spring break or extending the school days.”

Bridges said the school district already has extended school days, but she worries about students missing too much instruction.

“Keep in mind that we already have additional time built into our school day. That helps but it doesn’t change the fact that you missed a day. As far as the state is concerned, we do have some time built up so that we don’t have to make up every single day, but we don’t want student instruction to be interrupted,” Bridges said.

School board member Ann Kent thanked the superintendent for keeping safety foremost in her thoughts when making decisions about school closings.

“I thank you for being very cautious with our children. I appreciate you not risking their lives or the lives of the employees,” Kent said.

However, students in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will still get out of school today as the mandatory teacher work day remains in place.

On Feb. 5, the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education will be dealing with the issue of makeup days more in depth. However, the school district is already targeting two days in February as school makeup days. 

“The superintendent will request board approval of Feb. 19 and 20 as makeup days at the next Board of Education meeting,” Dr. Patricia Hollingsworth, chief public information officer for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools said in a statement.

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