Four make-up days were formally approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education Monday night during its regular monthly meeting, held despite school being closed for students and staff.
The early dismissal on Jan. 20 will not need to be made up since students did report to classes for more than half the school day, but Jan. 21, 22, 25 and 26 do have to be rescheduled.
The new dates will extend the school year by two days and require students and staff to work on Memorial Day.
The originally scheduled teacher workday on Feb. 15 has been rescheduled as a full student school day to make up for Jan. 21, which was closed for students but was a teacher workday.
Jan. 22, which was closed for students and staff, will be made up on June 9 for the students on June 13 for staff as an optional teacher work day.
Monday’s missed day for both students and staff will be made up on May 30, which was approved last year as a make-up day by the board of education. While a couple of board members were concerned with taking away the Memorial Day holiday, Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said another alternative would be for students to attend Saturday school this coming weekend.
“I’ve already got 10 calls about that,” said board member James Freeman about parents’ concerns about having to hold Saturday classes. Board chairman Dr. Richard Brinegar also said he received several calls about parents’ concerns.
The decision was made to keep the Memorial Day make-up day for students and staff.
With classes already canceled for Tuesday and an optional teacher workday, the board went ahead and voted to make up Tuesday on June 10, which will be the last day of school and an early dismissal day. June 10 also is scheduled to be graduation.
“We thought June 10 was a better option than Good Friday,” said Bledsoe, noting that the next dates on the approved make-up list from last year’s calendar approval would have been April 1 and March 31.
“If we have another major snow storm, we are going to have to go Saturdays or start taking Easter break,” said Bledsoe.
In planning for school the rest of this week, Bledsoe said school system transportation director Lisa Pendry planned to meet with the bus drivers Tuesday morning to develop limited bus routes so that school could go on as planned, but with some students having to walk to the beginning of dead-end roads or hard-to-access roads to catch the bus.
Bledsoe said another possibility he has discussed with Mount Airy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Little is to adjust the school hours later in the day, with classes not starting until 10 a.m. or noon and then school letting out later in the day around 4 or 4:30 p.m.
“It would be different, but we could still get our days in,” he said of the reasoning. “It is an opportunity to have a school day that is very beneficial for the staff and students. I think as a high school teacher I would rather have a shorter period than no period at all.”
He said starting later and ending later would allow warmer temperatures to be sure roads aren’t icy and then release classes before the sun starting dropping and roads iced back over.
One of the concerns Bledsoe still had with the snow-covered school parking lots is the staff had been able to scrape the snow off the top, but there is a small layer of ice they’ve not been able to get up.
School board member Frank Beals said he liked the idea of limited bus routes to make sure classes are still held.
Freeman said he liked the idea of the later start and end times as well, and Bledsoe said the staff would explore that possibility.
The make-up dates were approved unanimously following a motion from Freeman and a second from board member Dr. Jane Riley. Board vice chairman Haley Sullivan was unable to attend the meeting.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.