Wake County traditional calendar students and single-sex school students will each have one less makeup day to attend, but it could mean less time to eat lunch and having to rush between classes.
Wake County school officials announced Thursday that the June 13 makeup day for traditional-calendar schools and the June 2 makeup day for the the single-sex leadership academies and the N.C. State STEM Early College have been canceled. Both days would have been the last for students on each calendar after having been added to replace days lost because of the bad winter weather.
Cathy Moore, deputy superintendent for school performance, said that the majority of Wake’s traditional-calendar schools already meet the state’s requirement of 1,025 hours of instruction this school year, so the makeup day isn’t needed.
“We just determined that we had other options than scheduling a makeup day on the 13th,” she said. “Many of our schools have the 1,025 even without making up the 13th, and so what we pitched out there to principals was, ‘Can you figure out a way to make sure you’ve got the 1,025 without adding the 13th?’ and they said, ‘Yes.’ So they’re handling it.”
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Moore said that canceling the makeup days will save money because Wake won’t have to run as many school buses or pay as many employees to come to work. Still, she said cost wasn’t the driver for the cancellation.
Under state law, school districts must offer 185 days of classes or 1,025 hours of instruction each school year. Wake, like most districts, opted to meet the time requirement.
“We’re exercising the flexibility that the calendar law allows,” Moore said.
The schools that needed the makeup day will now have to find the extra time. Moore said that high schools and middle schools are short of hours, while elementary schools have enough hours.
“Elementaries, because they don’t have class-change time that they have to subtract and their lunches tend to be staged and shorter and not like a full period like a middle and high, they always have more hours,” she said.
Moore said it will be up to each school to decide how to obtain the extra time within the existing school day.
She said options include shortening the time allowed for students to change classes, shortening lunch periods and eliminating non-instructional activities. Those kinds of activities include pep rallies, which Moore said might now have to be held during lunch periods or right after school.
Some parents and students went on the school district’s Twitter account to give their thanks for eliminating the makeup days, leaving tweets such as “woo hoo,” “yes,” “I love you” and “Is this Jesus.”