The end of winter, even here in the south, is still weeks away and yet most school districts have gone well beyond the three snow days built into the calendar.
So a lot of parents are wondering, what next?
We found out some districts are having to come up with a creative solution to get in the days needed according to law.
In some ways, Greenwood District 51 has no choice. It’s makeup days for bad weather were already used in October, passed over in January, or booked up in February.
The choice it does have includes options like extending the school year, shortening spring break, or pulling kids in on a Saturday.
Superintendent Dr. Fay Sprouse chose instead to lengthen the school day.
“We have to make up no less than one hour at a time so we will add one hour to 6 days in order to make up that time,” she said.
“Everybody won’t be as mad as if we had to do it during spring break or do it Saturday school cause who wants to get up Saturday and go to school,” said Jaelyn McCallister, a student at Ware Shoals High.
Anderson District 3 is in a similar situation. It’s last makeup day is June 8th, the last day of school. And other districts in Anderson and some in Spartanburg may now be taking Greenwoods 51’s lead, and add to the school days so the instructional time is more useful.
By law, the school year must be 180 days, and of those 3 must be designated for bad weather. Only after those are used can the board forgive 3 more days, and after that the state can forgive 3 more. It all comes down to the right combination.
Greenville has used the most bad weather days. But its three makeup days are in April and March. So beyond that the district is banking on forgiveness.
“We feel like we have a little wiggle room with those days that we could appeal to the state if necessary as well as the possibility of the days that were used during hurricane Irma being looked at by lawmakers,” said Beth Brotherton.
As for students who will likely have 6 longer days, they say the snow days were still well worth it.
“We only had like 2 days of school that week, that was great,” said McCallister.
Greenwood 51 says they lengthened the school day a few years back and it worked well.
The move this year would still have to be approved by the board. We’ll keep you posted on what all districts decide.