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Schools plan make-up days
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Students returned to school last week following a period of wintry weather that left 75 percent of the county without power and nearly 1,000 trees down in the area for several days.

"There were six instructional days lost and four staff days lost due to the weather," said Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs.

Schools had been closed to students for nearly two weeks, with ice, snow and other wintry mixes closing doors from Feb. 16-27 following several winter storms.

"I met with my cabinet ... and principals [last week] and we've come up with somewhat of a compromise for these days," Gibbs said. "We have a plan that will replace three instructional days and all four staff days."

The first part of the plan is to add 30 minutes on to class days from March 9 until May 1, the same planning used by the board for last year's weather days.

"We also have an inclement weather day built in to the calendar on April 3, the Friday before spring break. We will be putting that day back into the calendar as an instructional day," Gibbs said. "Extending [the time] for 32 instructional days, which will make up 16 hours, which is two days for staff, so that's three of the four days made up for the staff and three of the six days made up for students.

This year, however, Gibbs said that the system would be trying something new for making up the remaining time.

"We do have some flexibility, being a charter system, on instructional days, so we have given our principals the discretion of having eight hours of professional learning outside of the normal school days from now until the end of the school year, which was a request that came from the principals, instead of doing 48 days of 30 minute extension," he said.

If this plan works, Gibbs said that hopefully no other action would be needed to correct the state-required time students must have yearly.

 

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