Wake Schools trying to get ahead of snow days

WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- The woes of winter are coming back to haunt leaders at the Wake County Public School System.

In Tuesday night's school board meeting, board members approved the school calendar for the 2016/2017 school year. That calendar includes snow make up days.

"I think one lesson learned last winter was we need to have clarifying, clear language so that if we have it on the calendar, parents will know that it's a scheduled make up day," said Chairwoman Christine Kushner.

Last winter, the process of making of snow days led to sending students to school on Saturdays, during spring break and Good Friday. Parents pushed back and sparked several back and forth decisions on when to make up classes.

"My biggest aggravation was the change, being undecided about it, parents weigh in and then that changes the decision they're going to make as opposed to what they were going to do," said Wake County parent, Beth Jennings.

As it is now, there are two Saturdays built into the school calendar for make-up days, only to be used after the district burns through its banked hours. One of those Saturdays falls before spring break.

Board members already anticipate this not being a favorable choice in the community.

Click here for the traditional calendar

Click here for the modified calendar

"I don't think any of us are in love with this calendar," said board member Tom Benton, who suggested making any Saturday make up day a half day. He was told though, that would conflict with state law requiring students to be in school 180 calendar days.

The board voted the calendar in, but as far as Jennings is concerned, their final say can only go so far.

"Unfortunately, it's North Carolina, nobody knows the weather ever. You don't know if it's going to two weeks of snow or no snow, and I think that makes it harder to make those decisions."

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