Education

Well, this is odd: Some students are begging for Wake County schools to stay open

Noe Roark, left, helps neighbor Emma Darroch, right, with her hood on Thursday morning, Jan. 4, 2018, as children woke up to find snow in Raleigh and many parts of the Triangle. If more snow cancels classes this week, Wake County would have to reschedule high school final exams and likely cut into the first day of spring break in March for traditional-calendar students.
Noe Roark, left, helps neighbor Emma Darroch, right, with her hood on Thursday morning, Jan. 4, 2018, as children woke up to find snow in Raleigh and many parts of the Triangle. If more snow cancels classes this week, Wake County would have to reschedule high school final exams and likely cut into the first day of spring break in March for traditional-calendar students. jleonard@newsobserver.com

Some Wake County students are begging for school to stay open in the face of expected snow that could disrupt this week’s high school final exams and cut into the start of spring break in March.

Wake’s announcement that schools will be closed Wednesday will force high schools to reschedule the final exams that are supposed to run through Friday. Wednesday’s snow day will also likely result in Wake’s traditional-calendar schools holding a makeup day on March 29, the first day of spring break for students and their families.

Before Wake announced the cancellation of classes, some students tweeted for school to stay open so they can take their exams as scheduled. That’s a departure from the usual tweets from students who, at the first prospect of snow, beg for schools to be closed.

Before North Carolina’s school calendar law forced traditional-calendar schools to start in late August, high schools would finish the first semester by winter break. This meant students took their finals in December.

Last year, Wake closed schools for three days in January the week before finals were to begin. Students unsuccessfully lobbied Wake to delay the start of the finals.

More snow days this week would cause Wake schools to further eat into their planned weather makeup days. Traditional-calendar students will have classes on Jan. 22 and Feb. 19 because of the snow days earlier this month.

The next scheduled makeup day for Wake’s traditional-calendar schools is March 29. It’s a teacher workday that leads into spring break for students and their families.

But it would take a lot more snow days before Wake cut further into spring break for traditional-calendar schools.

If school remains closed Thursday, Wake would extend the end of the school year for traditional-calendar schools to June 11. Wake would not make up the next three snow days by taking advantage of how schools have more than the state minimum of 1,025 hours of instruction each school year.

Unlike some districts, Wake holds off on using the “banked” time in case there’s a large number of snow days.

Check out the ABC11 forecast to see how much snow we might see, if and when it arrives.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui

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