Snow days disrupting Triangle school makeup plans

khui@newsobserver.comFebruary 13, 2014 

  • Tips for staying safe

    On the road:

    • Clear windows and mirrors before getting started.

    • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.

    • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution, and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary.

    • Anticipate black ice. Watch for thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement. Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or anywhere melted snow refreezes at night.

    • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes, as that will cause further loss of control of the car.

    • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any drivers coming from other directions lose control while trying to stop.

    • If you have a cellphone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call local law enforcement by dialing 911. But don’t call 911 to check on road conditions.

    At home:

    • Be careful when using supplemental heating units. Make sure all combustible materials, such as drapes or chairs, are at least 3 feet away from any heating unit.

    • Avoid using propane heaters inside or flammable liquids to start fireplaces, and do not leave a fireplace unattended. Check smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.

    • If possible, bring outside pets indoors during cold snaps, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.

    • Check in on neighbors and family members who may be more susceptible to cold weather conditions, such as the elderly or disabled.

    • Do not attempt to deal with downed limbs or trees on a street or sidewalk on your own since they may be tangled in live power lines.

    • Report downed wires to your utility company.

    • To prepare for a power outage, have plenty of fresh batteries for flashlights and radios.

    • If you have a gasoline-powered electric generator, use it in well-ventilated areas and only plug in individual appliances. Never connect a generator to a wall outlet. Be sure to have adequate fuel for your generator, and manage consumption by running it for only a few hours at a time.

    Sources: N.C. Department of Transportation; city of Raleigh; town of Cary; Duke Energy

  • Triangle snow makeup days

    Some school districts, but not Wake County, have announced their makeup days for this week. Here is what’s been announced so far:

    • In Wake County, traditional-calendar students have classes on Monday, March 28, April 21 and June 11.

    Year-round students, who had their first makeup day on Feb. 8, are supposed to have classes on Saturday, April 26 and May 3.

    Modified-calendar students will attend school on Monday, March 10, March 11 and April 21.

    Early college and single-sex leadership academy students will make up the days on Monday, April 21, May 29 and May 30.

    • In Johnston County, traditional-calendar students will have classes Monday, March 28, April 21, June 12 and June 13. March 13 and June 11 will change from early-release days to full days.

    Year-round students have classes Monday, March 17, March 18, June 12 and June 13. March 13 and June 11 will change from early release days to full days.

    The early college and middle college students have classes on March 3, March 4, March 5, April 16, April 17. Feb. 17 and May 22 go from early release days to full days

    • In Durham schools, traditional-calendar students are scheduled to make up days on Feb. 17 and March 28. No days have been announced for this week.

    Year-round students were supposed to have makeup days on Friday and Monday. No day has been announced yet for this week.

    • In Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, students are scheduled to have makeup days on Monday, March 28, April 18 and May 26.

    • In Orange County schools, traditional-calendar students have makeup days scheduled for Feb. 28, April 21 and June 13. No makeup day has been announced for Friday, but the district’s calendar says Saturdays can be used.

    Year-round students have makeup days scheduled for Feb. 28 and during the March intersession break.

    • In Chatham County schools, students were scheduled to have makeup days on Friday and March 7. Students will now have a full day instead of a half day on April 11. No day has been announced for this week, but parents are asked to take an online survey about what days they’d prefer.

This week’s snowstorm is disrupting scheduled makeup days for Triangle schools at the same time it’s forcing districts to look for ways to replace the additional lost time.

School will remain closed Friday throughout the Triangle. The latest cancellation knocks out plans for a makeup day Friday for Chatham County schools and Durham’s year-round students while raising concerns about whether Saturday can still be a makeup day for Wake’s year-round students.

And if roads remain treacherous through the weekend, students could get Presidents Day off after all. Usually a holiday, Monday is now a scheduled makeup day for students in several Triangle school systems.

Triangle school systems were forced to cancel between two and four days of classes because of last month’s snowstorm. Those same school systems are now looking at making up two days and, in the case of Wake County, three days from this week.

Under state law, school districts are required to have either 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction per year. Most districts opted for the 1,025 hours, allowing them to make up the time by doing things such as converting early release days into full days of classes.

Some school districts announced their makeup days for this week.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro students will now have classes on Good Friday and Memorial Day.

And in Johnston County, the school year will be extended a day for traditional-calendar and year-round schools. The traditional-calendar students will also lose Easter Monday, and year-round students will lose March 18.

But no word has come from Wake County, the state’s largest school system and the one with the most time to make up. Wake lost four days to last month’s storm and an additional three days this week.

One person tweeted to Wake that “poor year round folks will never have another weekend” if more Saturday makeup days are added. She asked that the school days be lengthened instead.

“We can do either/or (days or hours) and will pick whichever one works best for our parents,” Wake’s communications staff replied on the district’s Twitter account. “Right now, we’re opting for hours.” Staff writer Jonathan M. Alexander contributed to this report.

Hui: 919-829-4534

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