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School closing days add time to holiday week

McDuffie County students are getting a few days off to play in the snow this month.

"We do expect an early ice storm the third week in November," School Superintendent Jim LeBrun quipped during the school board meeting Tuesday morning.

Mr. LeBrun announced school will be canceled for students, faculty and staff on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23 and 24.

The weather may or may not have anything to do with the closings, which are being "related to possible weather conditions, facility issues, fuel supply and/or lack of funding," according to a press release from Mr. LeBrun.

"While a superintendent and a Board of Education never wishes to close school operations due to any emergency that may arise, closings are in fact necessary at times," he said.

Students and faculty have more to be thankful for since the two extra days will mean they have the entire week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Mr. LeBrun said the two days will count as two of the approved teacher furlough days for the school year, and if someone has already exhausted their furlough days, they may elect to take personal or vacation leave on these days.

The Georgia Department of Education has made leeway this year for local school systems to cut back on the required 180-days in a school year due to the revenue cuts being implemented, according to Assistant Superintendent Barry O'Neill. According to Morris News Service reports, several school systems across the state have cut up to 20 days.

McDuffie schools also will have three early-release days, in which students attend school for half a day, and parents and teachers will be involved in conferences for the remainder of the day. These dates are Dec. 17, March 11 and May 20. Mr. LeBrun said the dates were chosen to facilitate end of grading period discussions with parents. Staggered timing between schools will be determined as bus routes dictate.

Web posted on Thursday, November 12, 2009

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