Garner: Opinion

Editorial: School calendars a no-win proposition

Board of Education members in Wake and Johnston County – and all around the Triangle for that matter – face an impossible task when they try to figure out how to make up missed school days in the wake of winter weather.

The state of North Carolina requires counties to open their school house doors a certain number of days or a certain number of hours each academic year. Their’s simply no getting around that law, nor should their be.

But school administrators have a few tools in their belt when it comes to deciding how to make up the lost time.

Schools typically require more academic hours than required by state law, meaning the school system could simply write off a missed day and not fall below the instructional hour requirements. But that doesn’t provide enough of a cushion to simply wipe out nearly two weeks of missed school.

And schools, as we learned recently, can count it as a day of school as soon as the first bus heads out to pick up children. So a late determination to cancel classes can still count as a day of school.

In the current scenario, though, students missed nearly two full weeks of school. There’s no way to get around that much missed time.

Parents had already started chirping about their opposition to losing spring break, a time many families head out of town for a pre-summer vacation.

In Wake County, school board members settled on Good Friday and a couple of to-be-named later Saturdays.

More chirping. Parents are already insisting their children won’t be in school on a Saturday or on a religious holiday.

Wake school board member Tom Benton was realistic about the matter. “There are no good options. We’re trying to find the least bad options,” he said.

And, the truth is, that’s about the best school board members can hope to do.

And for parents who insist their children will not attend one of those particular makeup days, we ask you to consider this: Who does that really hurt?