Elkin heads to school on Saturday

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

January 10, 2014

Elkin schools are open on Saturday.

According to the school district, each school will start at its normal time.

School on Saturday will dismiss at the following times:

• Elkin Elementary School at 12:30 p.m.

• Elkin Middle School and Elkin High School at 1 p.m.

The Saturday school requirement is not optional. It’s the law.

The school was forced to shut its doors on Tuesday after blistering weather crippled the south. Yadkin, Wilkes and Surry counties opted to close their doors.

The closure backed Elkin into a wall by being forced to use Saturday as its make-up date.

“It’s going to be a normal school day. Dismissal will be a bit earlier though,” said Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe of Elkin City Schools.

“We’ve opened schools on a Saturday in the past. Sure there’s a buzz in social media about kids or parents being upset about opening on a Saturday, but we have no choice. Kids attending school is strictly a parental decision,” he said.

“State guidelines require schools to be in session for a specific number of days/hours per year. Although some may view Saturday in a negative manner, the calendar was board approved and if you add it to the end of the year or take away Easter Break, the same people would not like the choices. I have always found the biggest majority of our students attend school no matter what day we open. Our teachers are noted for making learning fun, exciting and challenging each day our students enter the school door. For our high school students, this will be one of the last days of the first semester and very important as they begin NC Final Exams and End of Course Tests next week,” said Bledsoe.

According to Bledsoe, the district used to have five flexible work days, but the legislature removed the scheduling ability from districts.

“My number one priority is the safety of the kids and staff. This is when the make-up date falls,” said Bledsoe.

The opening of a school for Elkin does not impact the budget, said Bledsoe.

“We didn’t have a work day on Tuesday. The money forwards to Saturday,” he said.

Bledsoe said that he believes the attendance rate will not suffer due to Saturday school.

“Most people will do the right thing,” he said.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.