Saturday school for Beaufort County kids

Published 9:16 pm Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday, the Beaufort County Board of Education voted to send children to school Saturday to make up for the many days missed due to winter weather over the past several months.

By a vote of seven to one, the board voted to have a makeup day March 22 with beginning bell times in line with the regular school day and school dismissing three hours early. Board member Barbara Boyd-Williams was not present for the vote; Mac Hodges was the lone dissenter.

“The calendar for the remainder of the year was reviewed carefully and the Board of Education felt this was the place to schedule the makeup time that would cause the least disruption,” wrote Sarah Hodges in an emailed press release.

Previously, the board decided to let each school decide how to make up missing time by adding a daily 10 minutes to the schedule, with many of the schools deciding to whittle down available time periods by the minute. Extending the school year was not really an option, as pay schedules and graduation dates had already been set in stone. But the further the schools get into the year, the less options are available, according to Hodges.

Hodges said Saturday school has not been invoked in many years.

“Few, if any, of our staff remember doing Saturday school, “ she said.

So far, the decision to have school on a weekend day has prompted mixed reactions.

“Parents and staff are understandably concerned about plans they already had made,’ Hodges explained. “Administrators have been asked to work with students and staff as best as possible.”