At a called meeting Monday the school board approved March 21st and 24th as make-up days for the school system. The move comes after students and staff missed four days last month following a round of winter weather which left area roads impassable.
School for this Tuesday had already been cancelled, bringing the total number of missed days due to weather to six.
March 21st was a scheduled in-service day and the 24th was a holiday.
“I like the idea of the last of February and all of March we will be able to focus and be able to cover CRCT material,” said Dr. Lula Mae Perry. “It will not be broken up time. I think we get a lot of gain from getting full weeks.”
Students are expected to begin CRCT testing in early April.
The state school board could forego mandated make-up days, as many schools throughout the state have missed days because of weather.
Board Chair Wendy Lowe said despite the state considerations the board has a concern that Pickens students need more class time.
She said regardless of what the state board for required makeups, the Pickens school board feels more classroom time is needed to see students achieve their academic potential. She expressed particular concern on results of the statewide tests that could be lower due to students in the northern part of the state missing so many days.
Lowe said there are not enough in-service days to cover all the missed days. This left them with options of cutting into winter break, spring break, adding days to the end of the calendar or adding time to the school day.
Superintendent Lula Mae Perry said there are still many “ifs” out there regarding how many days will ultimately be missed and how many the state will require them to make up. But she is aware of the growing concern from the board on the need to make up days based on academics. She noted that setting calendars is a key board duty.
Future cancellations to be day by day
Perry said the Pickens schools will continue to close school on a day-by-day basis. Unlike other systems, they will not cancel classes more than one day in advance. The weather forecasts may not be as bad as originally predicted and once they cancel additional days, it’s impossible to undo it, she said.