Schools could add required Saturday to make-up schedule

By Brittany Wise bwise@civitasmedia.com

March 7, 2014

School on a Saturday? It sounds like every student’s worst nightmare, but thanks to an icy winter that kept kids out of classrooms for 14 school days, it may become one way to save summer break.

On Thursday afternoon, Grayson County Schools Superintendent Barry Anderson released two possible plans to get in the necessary make-up days for the current school year.

According to Anderson, the school district’s approved calendar for the year includes 173 instructional days; however, thanks to a daily schedule that banks extra instructional minutes each day, he said three of those days would not have to be made up in order to comply with Kentucky state laws.

The final decision on which make-up plan will go into effect is up to the School Board, which will meet on Thursday, March 13 at 6 p.m. to discuss the issue.

Regardless of which plan is chosen, Anderson said, “I will recommend to the school board members that we amend our school calendar to reflect our students only going to school 170 days.”

Students have already made up one missed day, and two other make-up days are scheduled for Friday, March 28 and Friday, April 18. That leaves eight days that must be added into the calendar, assuming no additional days are missed this school year.

Anderson explained that the first make-up option would add eight days onto the end of the school calendar, making students’ last day Thursday, June 5.

This change would put the 2014 senior class’ graduation on the weekend of June 7 or 8, disrupting the tradition of hosting the ceremony on Memorial Day weekend.

Anderson also added that if more than one additional day of school had to be missed for some reason, students would need to make that day up on a Saturday or on Memorial Day.

The second proposed make-up plan would have students finishing up the school year on Friday, May 30. Students would attend class on Monday, March 31 through Wednesday, April 2. These days were a part of students’ spring break, and were previously designated as potential make-up days.

This would leave students a four-day spring break from Thursday, April 3 through Sunday, April 6.

Students would also attend two extra days added onto the end of the year, and would have classes on one Saturday.

This proposal would keep graduation on Memorial Day weekend as planned.

Anderson said in an email to school staffers, “No matter what is decided, it will affect someone negatively. Due to plans made, trips planned, commitments and obligations such as seniors departing for the military, etc., whatever is decided will not work for everyone.”

Keeping this in mind, he said that he is trying “to recommend two options that could be workable for a large part of the school community as well as the community of Grayson County.”

“One of my main priorities,” Anderson said, “will be taking into consideration how the make-up days affect our graduating seniors.”

Hoping for community involvement in the decision-making process, Anderson included a link on the school district’s website where parents and staff can vote for the plan which they prefer.

During the first day of voting, 148 ballots were cast, with the majority in favor of the second proposed plan. 68.2 percent of voters chose this plan, while 31.8 percent favored the first option.

To cast your vote, visit www.graysoncountyschools.com and click the link at the top, right under ‘Important Announcements.’