McDuffie County Schools will have a weather make up day. But no decision has been made as to when that will be.
Students in McDuffie County missed a full day of school on Tuesday Jan. 27 due to the ice storm and power outage that followed. The Board of Education has yet to decide when that day will be rescheduled.
The preference among officials is to make up the missed day on Friday, Feb. 13 which is currently scheduled as a holiday for students. The teachers would then be required to make up the missed in-service day on a Saturday.
"Personally, I think that's the best option because that's easier than having students to come on a Saturday," said McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Ed Grisham.
Another option is to add a day on to the end of the school year, but according to Dr. Grisham, that plan would force Thomson High School's graduation to be moved. The plan would leave only two days to compute the grades of graduating seniors when three days are needed.
"We've already got graduation on a Saturday, and if we make up one or more days making the year longer, then graduation would have to fall on the next week which causes a lot of friends and relatives from out of town to possibly have to take off from work and that sort of thing to come," Dr. Grisham said.
Once talk of making up the missed day began, some teachers, parents and students expressed concern about comments from Richmond County Schools Spokeswoman Mechelle Jordan.
"State law allows five weather days for students, and so therefore, until they go over five days for weather-related absences, they don't have to make it up," Ms. Jordan said in the Jan. 29 edition of The Augusta Chronicle.
Ms. Jordan was referring to a rarely-used Georgia law which allows systems that end the school-year on a Friday to refrain from starting a new week to make up the missed days. However, the law only applies in certain circumstances.
"This (law) means that a school system may be forgiven for four or fewer days due to inclement weather when the system's original calendar ends on a Friday," said Kirk Englehardt, Public Information Officer for the Georgia Department of Education.
Since McDuffie County's school year ends on Wednesday, May 19, the system is required to make up the missed day. Other school systems around McDuffie County are taking a different stance on rescheduling missed days.
The superintendents in Columbia and Warren Counties will recommend to their boards that those days not be rescheduled since their school years both end on a Friday.
Richmond and Wilkes Counties have already made the decision to not reschedule the weather days for the same reason.
Lincoln County has not made a decision on the make up days yet. Jefferson County schools did not miss a full day due to the weather.