Spring break for students not cut short by weather
As April begins, spring break is fast approaching for Rowan-Salisbury students and teachers, but for some of them, winter storms that hit the area earlier this year could have a direct impact on their vacation plans.
School was canceled due to inclement weather Jan. 29 and 30, as well as Feb. 12 through 14.
Make-up days were scheduled for Feb. 17, March 28 and April 18, and one absence was forgiven. Feb. 14 was initially a make-up day, but was cancelled due to a second storm.
Spring break is scheduled for April 21 through 25.
Although the school system managed to not officially cut any time off of students’ spring break, April 18, the Friday before spring break begins, was scheduled to be a make-up day. The day was originally scheduled off in observance of the Good Friday holiday.
Teachers, however, weren’t as lucky. They will make up the workdays that were converted to class days during the last two days of spring break, April 24 and 25.
A panel of Rowan-Salisbury staff and administrators met with Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody in February to try to schedule make-up days in the most convenient and academically advantageous way possible.
The group worked to avoid cutting into spring break, class on Memorial Day and class on Saturdays.
Colby Cochran, who builds the school system’s academic calendar each year, said that students and parents made it incredibly clear that they wanted spring break protected.
The school system was able to forgive one of the class days because the state of North Carolina mandates that each school district have 185 days or 1,025 hours of instructional time each year. The Rowan-Salisbury School System opted for the instructional hours rather than the number of days. There were 180 days scheduled for this academic year.
Rowan-Salisbury elementary schools, which have the shortest school day in the system, have 1,050 instructional hours scheduled for the 2013-14 academic year.
After 131/2 hours in delayed starts and early dismissals were subtracted from that total amount of hours required, the panel found they had 111/2 excess hours. They decided that if the school system didn’t miss any more days, they would be able to forgive one day.
The school system has since had one delayed start.
During its March 24 meeting, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education unanimously approved a motion to add 10 minutes to each school day starting next school year. The addition will add 50 minutes of instructional time each week, allowing administrators more flexibility to handle inclement weather cancellations in the future.
The board was also excited that any additional time not used to cover cancellations will be valuable instructional time.