State Board of Education gives districts flexibility to not make up days cancelled because of storms

The state Board of Education voted Thursday to give school districts the flexibility to not make up as many as nine of the school days cancelled because of the two winter storms that hit Georgia over the past month.

The unanimous vote was expected after a committee of board members approved the idea on Wednesday.

Districts can add days back to their school calendar or finish the year without adding days. Many districts are adding time to the school day or canceling winter break to make up for the days that were cancelled during the storms.

“With these broad-reaching events we’ve had this year, I do think this is appropriate,” board member Mike Royal said. “I think this is a good thing to do for schools.”

Normally, districts are required to have 180 instructional days and must get special permission from the state Board of Education to shorten that calendar.

The resolution the board approved means districts won’t have to seek a waiver to forgo the days cancelled because of the winter storms.

“We appreciate the prompt decision by the state Board of Education,” DeKalb Superintendent Michael Thurmond said. “The DeKalb County School District senior staff and I are meeting tomorrow to review the state Board’s resolution as well as the three options we have for deciding on make-up days. Our final decision will be guided by what works best for the students as we are preparing for the upcoming CRCT and EOCT exams and will be discussed with the DeKalb County Board of Education on Monday, March 3, 2014.”

Jay Dillon, director of communications for the Cobb County School District, said Cobb also “appreciates the flexibility extended by the state Board of Education regarding snow days. At this time, the school district has not decided whether to make up any missed days, but is considering the available options.”

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