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Martin reports snow day shortage; board discusses calendar

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Campbell County students have enjoyed several unscheduled days off recently thanks to Mother Nature. But the cheers will likely be replaced with sighs as the students face the almost certain possibility of still being in school in June.

Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, informed board members during a meeting on Tuesday evening that as a result of school cancellations caused by two separate winter storms, the system has exceeded its built in snow day by one. And with the threat of more inclement weather on the way, Martin said he anticipates more snow days before winter’s end.

“We are going to have to make up one day as it stands now, and I’m almost sure we are going to have more snow,” Martin said.

When board members questioned how the days would be made up, Martin said he was still exploring options.

“We don’t want to go to far into June because that creates problems,” Martin explained adding that Saturday make up days were not out of the question.

The director told the board that guidance from central office staff and school faculty would be sought prior to a final decision being made. But one thing Martin stressed that is not up for debate is whether the days have to be made up at all.

“By law to get funding we have to go a certain number of days and now we are short one,” Martin said of the current situation.

The 2010-11 school calendar was also a topic for discussion during the evening. While board members were provided with a copy of the proposed school schedule no action was taken on it.

Carla Jeffers, elementary education supervisor, explained that the major changes in the upcoming calendar include an abbreviated fall break and the addition of snow days.

“We have set aside all 13 days for snow for next year based on the number of days we have had to miss this year,” Jeffers explained.

Martin acknowledged that the calendar had not been reviewed by the teacher’s union and therefore should not be voted on.

“There are some problems with this calendar,” Sharon Marlow, American Federation of Teachers president, told the group.

The board agreed to table the issue until its March meeting.