Weather wreaks havoc with school calendar — again

Feb 17, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell photo Students leave Waynesville Middle School amid a snowstorm that arrived unexpectedly last week.

With Haywood County Schools closed again Friday, the missed days have altered the original calendar — and possibly the end date for school.

Bill Nolte, Associate Superintendent for Haywood County Schools said the school calendar approved last year contained six teacher workdays that were saved for weather make up.

One additional mandatory teacher workday was saved for report cards and other required documentation.  This workday is after the last student day due to new state testing regulations.

"Haywood County Schools’ averages just over eight missed student days each year due to inclement weather," Nolte said. "Thus far, we have missed 11 days this school year.  This is due in large part to abnormally low temperatures."

Between using saved teacher work days and a Saturday class, some of the days have been made up. The following is a list of dates where adjustments can be made to achieve the required number of instruction days.

  • Saturday make up days (when appropriate)
  • Extending the calendar June 17-20
  • Memorial Day Holiday May 26
  • Spring Break April 21-25
  • The mandatory floating workday that is after the last student day (originally scheduled on June 5)

Currently, the last student day is June 16 or 17, depending on the ability to make up school this coming Saturday.

"We will explore and discuss other reasonable options for making up school days with the board.  This will include using the Good Friday holiday on April 18," Nolte said.

“It is always difficult when we have an above average winter in terms of cold temperatures and precipitation," said School Superintendent Anne Garrett. "None of us like all of the adjustments to the school calendar.  While we consider many factors in making school schedule decisions, we place the highest priority on student and staff safety.”

Nolte cited the late August school start date required by the legislature as the problem.

"When we start late and have an average or above average winter, that causes havoc with school schedules.  Please ask your state elected officials, and candidates who run this fall, to give complete school calendar control to local school boards,” Nolte said.