The Carroll County Board of Education on Thursday night approved the motion to add two class days to the calendar to help make up for the seven days that schools have been closed due to bad weather.
The board has been told that February could possibly bring more severe weather.
“We technically don’t have to make up for the missed days but with the number of days missed, there is a concern for our children,” said Superintendent Scott Cowart. “The fact that there was such a great deal of learning time lost, we need to look into making it up.”
School system officials spoke to several principals who in turn spoke with their teachers and it was agreed that an additional day be added to make up for the missed class time.
“We looked at the calendar and we did not see it as an option to take days away from the spring break vacation,” Cowart said. “Also adding days onto the end of the year would make up for time loss but testing would have ended already.”
The board unanimously voted to add the two new school work days -- one on Feb. 16, which had been scheduled as a teacher work day, and Feb. 19, Presidents Day.
“If a family already has plans that they can’t cancel, our administration will work with them and those missed days will not count against them,” Cowart said. “This could also apply to our teachers, so we plan to work with them and have their classes covered. We don’t want to put our parents in a difficult situation if they already made important plans.”
Cowart said the school system office feels it has a moral and ethical obligation for students to have the opportunities to make up missed learning opportunities. Cowart also brought up that asking children to make up work by working from home would not be efficient for all children because not every child has internet at home.
Some board members addressed negative feedback on social media.
“There were parents who did not understand and some were upset because they didn’t have all the information, such as knowing that we have missed seven school days so far,” said board Chairman Bart Cater. “We didn’t really get the chance to make this decision sooner because we had bad weather in December and then we had Christmas break, but starting back in January we missed even more days because of weather.”
Cater said that depending on what kind of weather February brings, the board may have to revisit the issue and see where it can salvage additional makeup days.
“I think we have had enough snow days but keeping our students safe is the priority if bad weather arrives,” Carter said. “But depending on what we could expect in February we may have to look into it, but hoping we will not have to.”