CONWAY — Horry County Schools has the green light to seek a waiver from the General Assembly to exempt the district from up to three makeup days lost to extreme weather conditions, just as another winter storm heads toward the county.
The Horry County school board OK’d a recommendation from HCS Superintendent Cindy Elsberry to pursue the waiver, which would forgive two of the four days, Jan. 28-31, when schools were closed because of an ice storm.
Elsberry said the other two days would be made up Feb. 17 and March 28, which already are designated on the student calendar as possible makeup days, and that the district wants to try to fulfill the calendar as promised because parents and families have built their schedules around it.
Elsberry also announced makeup days for staff members who were paid for the days that were lost. Those on 220-day or less contracts will work two additional days, June 10-11. Twelve-month employees, who did report to work on some of those days, will have to make up one day, June 13, she said.
A second makeup day will have to be determined for Daisy Elementary School, which is on a year-round calendar and has only one designated make-up day left, April 9.
Board Chairman Joe DeFeo said the superintendent would be looking at the weather situation early Tuesday morning to determine any action needed with this new wave of inclement weather. He said weather conditions can vary from one side of the county to the other, but if there are dangerous conditions in one area, he believes it is right for all schools to close to avoid confusion.
The law requires that schools operate 180 instructional days for students, but a bill to forgive up to five missed school days already has passed the state House of Representatives and is in the Senate. The Senate is not in session most of this week, DeFeo said, so that decision wouldn’t affect the district for probably two weeks, but he said the General Assembly has always said yes to the district’s requests to waive makeup days in the past.
Elsberry said the call to close schools depends on the weather alerts the district receives from Horry County Emergency Management and at what time bad weather is expected to arrive.
“The safety of our students has to come first,” Elsberry said. “We don’t want to end up in the same situation as other districts did around the country.”
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.