Wake Ed

Wake County teachers worried about losing workdays to make up class

Buses are lined in an icy park lot as custodian Candida Romero spreads ice melt on sidewalks Tuesday, January 10, 2016 Wakefield High School in Raleigh. Icy conditions are leading to Wake County schools remaining closed and teacher workdays being used to make up the lost time.
Buses are lined in an icy park lot as custodian Candida Romero spreads ice melt on sidewalks Tuesday, January 10, 2016 Wakefield High School in Raleigh. Icy conditions are leading to Wake County schools remaining closed and teacher workdays being used to make up the lost time. tlong@newsobserver.com

Some Wake County teachers are expressing their frustration about losing three teacher workdays to make up for this week’s snow days.

Wake’s traditional-calendar schools are turning teacher workdays scheduled for Jan. 27, Feb. 20 and March 31 into regular school days to replace this week’s three snow days. But some teachers say the loss of those workdays will make it hard for them to get caught up on paperwork, enter grades for report cards and get enough training time.

Several teachers have been tweeting their concerns to Wake as the week has progressed. Teachers have used words like “penalized” and ‘frustrated” to describe their feeling about the loss of the workdays.

Teachers have suggested not using workdays as the first option for makeup days.

Under the order of listed makeup days, Wake will first use up teacher workdays and then use “banked time” that schools have in excess of the state’s minimum number of required instructional hours. Wake can use the banked time to skip missing up to three snow days.

If there are still more snow days, Wake will extend the end of the school year by a day, hold classes on a Saturday and extend the end of the year by up to three more days.

Wake has replied to the teachers, explaining why school officials feel it’s important to make up the lost days even if it means sacrificing workdays. Wake has also tweeted how using the workdays will help give enough makeup days in case there’s more snow coming.

Wake has also heard from parents and teachers questioning why the district doesn’t convert the Jan. 20 and Feb. 10 early release days into full days to make up one of the snow days. It takes converting two early release days to make up one day.

Wake’s calendar had paired Jan. 20 with a Dec. 2 early release day that wasn’t needed as a makeup day. But Jan. 20 and Feb. 10 were not paired up on the calendar.

“The overwhelming feedback we got from staff and parents was to use the makeup days outlined on the calendar and stick to them so people can plan,” said Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman.

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