Schools claw back time lost to snow

Minute by minute and day by day, some school districts in metro Atlanta are clawing back instructional time lost to unusually severe winter weather this year.

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Minute by minute and day by day, some school districts in metro Atlanta are clawing back instructional time lost to unusually severe winter weather this year.

Gwinnett County, Georgia’s largest district, had already altered its calendar last month to make up the three days lost to an Arctic chill in early January and a snowstorm later that month. Now, in response to another round of snow that shuttered school for four days this month, the district has announced it will lengthen 48 school days by half an hour, from Monday through mid-May.

Decatur, one of metro Atlanta’s smallest districts, chose a similar approach, adding 30 minutes a day but only from Monday to the beginning of May. Another small district, Marietta, also stretched the school day but with a twist, lengthening days in March but only Mondays through Thursdays and for a whole hour. (The district told parents they can opt out.)

Atlanta and Fulton County decided to make up a day each in March by scheduling school during time previously set aside for teacher planning and training, and Fulton will delay high-stakes testing for younger students. The school system in Rockdale County took the cold-water approach, deciding less than two weeks ago to cancel last week’s winter break and make up five days immediately. Another make-up day is on the calendar there in March.

Fayette and DeKalb counties were still working on their plans Monday. DeKalb Superintendent Michael Thurmond said any make-up time he recommends to the school board would occur before high-stakes testing this spring. He also said he might use emergency waivers from the state and write off the lost time.

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Filed under Cobb County School District, Fulton County Schools, Georgia Education, Gwinnett County Schools

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