Schools decide how to make up lost time

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SCHOOL'S OUT: Winter weather makeup has been topic of discussion for Board of Education officials.

SCHOOL’S OUT: Winter weather makeup has been topic of discussion for Board of Education officials.


After a bit of back and forth between the Board of Education, principals, teachers, parents, Beaufort County Schools have worked out a plan to make up for the unprecedented number of snow days this year.

Last week, Beaufort County Schools announced schoolchildren would start each school day 10 minutes early for the rest of the school year, as payroll issues and scheduled graduation dates prevented officials from extending the school year.

Since, feedback from the school community required a second look at the plan. The result was a new plan: rather than prescribe a makeup plan to every school across the board, each school will present a plan to add 10 minutes to the school day, wherever they want it.

“Some of principals feel like they can absorb the time during the traditional day … Possible scenarios include maybe a minute or two from lunch, a minute or two from break time, thinks like that. It will be out of non-instructional time,” said Sarah Hodges, public information officer for Beaufort County Schools. “It’s going to be a school by school consideration.”

The plans from the principals will be presented to BCS Superintendent Don Phipps Thursday and, if they meet requirements, will be implemented March 3. One of the requirements of the plans, is specific to BCS’ younger students.

“Every consideration is being made to keep younger students from getting on the bus any earlier,” Hodges said.

As students had already made up two earlier snow days using already scheduled teacher workdays, teachers have been given several different options to replace them: working one Saturday in March, one in April; ballgames and other extracurricular tasks counting for time; taking personal leave time; and offering Tuesday through Friday of the Easter break week as optional teacher work days.

Hodges said BCS will be sending out announcements as soon as the matter is resolved.

“We feel confident the principals are going to work this out with the least impact or change on the students’ day as possible,” Hodges said. “This has been a very unique learning experience for us because we have never been in this situation as a school system before. We just want to thank people for their patience as we learn how to handle this.”