Horry County Schools principals, staff work together to make up time missed from ice storms

Horry County Schools teachers and staff who couldn’t report to work during the two recent ice storms in the area are working to make up their missed time before the school year is over.

In March, HCS Superintendent Cindy Elsberry told the Horry County school board that work days could be added to the end of the year and used for professional development, but she said that no longer will be necessary. She said principals at each school are working with staff to adjust their schedules so the time can be made up during the regular school year.

Ice storms in January and February caused most students and staff to miss six days, while those in the Aynor and Green Sea Floyds attendance areas missed an extra day because of power outages that affected schools and homes.

All schools made up two instructional days, and Gov. Nikki Haley signed a resolution allowing local school boards to waive up to five days missed because of inclement weather. The Horry County school board forgave the remaining days, saying that would help parents and families who already had made arrangements around the current school calendar.

Staff time, however, still had to be recovered, but adding days to the end of the year would have been problematic for some employees, who often take summer classes and plan other events for the end of the year.

“We’ve tried to be flexible,” said April Scott, principal at Forestbrook Middle School. “We’re extending school-day hours and have a schedule, like a roster, where we submit makeup time.”

Scott said many of her teachers schedule surgeries and appointments at the end of the school year, and childcare also would have been an issue for some if they had to work extra days in June. She said teachers are coming in early or staying as late as 8 p.m., some came to work during spring break, and some are working Saturdays when their spouse can be home with their children.

“We’re being very diligent that we make up the time owed and do what we need to do,” Scott said. “It has been very helpful that we’ve been allowed to monitor our time and work together.”