Wake Ed

Educational reasons permitted for missing makeup days

Wake County traditional-calendar students who intend to miss next week’s three snow makeup days may want to see if their trip provides “a valid educational opportunity” that would qualify for an excused absence.

The decision to cut into spring break on March 23-25 has been a problem for many students and school employees who already made plans for the time. In a March 9 email to principals, Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore told them “WCPSS' intent is to provide maximum flexibility under the law and policies to parents, students, and schools, to minimize or eliminate the impact of any absences on scheduled makeup days, recognizing that many families may have travel plans or other conflicts.”

One of the examples Moore cited is that Wake “will excuse the absences of students as allowed by Board policy and law, including for absences due to a valid educational opportunity such as travel (Form 1710 Request for Excused Absence for Educational Reasons).”

Form 1710 is supposed to be filled out in advance of the absence. Principals were told to be flexible so they may not be as questioning when parents cite the marine learning opportunities that will be available at the beach.

Wake has blunted some of the need to get the absences excused by saying that any students who are absent on the makeup days will be permitted to make up missed school work for full credit.

Moore’s email also told principals that “students absent on makeup days will not suffer any impact on grades or academic credit solely as a result of these absences provided the students make up the missed assignments in a timely manner as established by the school.”

But what’s especially made some teenagers happy is that Moore said “·absences on the identified makeup days of March 23, 24, 25 will not be counted in determining whether high school seniors are exempt from non-State exams.”

Still, some parents may not want their children to run afoul of the limit for the number of unexcused absences because it can result in failing the grade.