Horry County Schools students to make up two days, while school board to consider waiver for two others

vgrooms@thesunnews.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Horry County Schools students will make up at least two of the four instructional days lost because of last month’s ice storm, while the Horry County school board is expected to vote Monday night on whether to ask the General Assembly to waive the rest, according to school officials.

The district has two of three designated makeup days left on its traditional student calendar – Feb. 17 and March 28 – which ordinarily would have been used for student holidays and teacher workdays.

“We definitely will use those weather days that were set aside for that very purpose,” said HCS Superintendent Cindy Elsberry. “One thing we know is that our parents rely heavily on our school calendar to plan time off, oftentimes nine months or a year in advance, so makeup days can be problematic. We’re trying to establish a balance between protecting instructional time but also honoring family and community.”

Elsberry said she will be making a recommendation to the board, but it is not yet complete. The year-round schedule for Loris’ Daisy Elementary School also must be considered, she said, as the school has different breaks from the rest of the district that those families use for planning. Daisy has only one designated makeup day left on its calendar, April 9.

The law requires that schools operate 180 instructional days for students, while teacher contracts include 10 additional days for staff development, work and planning time, said Teal Harding, Horry County Schools spokeswoman. The district has options for making up additional time for students and staff, including the use of Saturdays, spring break time, Memorial Day or adding a day at the end of the school year.

The board’s meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday at the district office, 335 Four Mile Road, Conway. Harding said it isn’t clear how long the process would take if the board votes to request a waiver.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401.

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