DeKalb and Atlanta schools announce plans to make up snow days, Decatur undecided

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 22, 2018

A city schools of Decatur bus. Photo from CSD Facebook page.

Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools had to cancel classes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week due to snow and ice. City Schools of Decatur missed Wednesday and Thursday but students were in class for part of the day on Friday.

A week before that, schools closed for one day, Jan. 8, due to anticipated icy weather, though it may also have had something to do with the College Football National Championship being played in Atlanta that day and a visit by President Trump.

APS and DeKalb County Schools have announced plans to make up those days. The Decatur School Board will discuss its options at its Jan. 23 School Board meeting.

DeKalb County Schools will make up two of the days by having classes on Feb. 16 and March 9. The school district is still deciding what to do about the other two days missed this month.

“Protecting our instructional time is key to supporting student achievement. Making up lost time on those dates is prudent and the least disruptive of the options that were considered,” DeKalb Superintendent R. Stephen Green said in a press release from the school district. “For the third and fourth day, we will diligently survey a cross section of parents, teachers, principals, teacher organizations, parent-teacher organizations, parent council groups, and school council members to determine the best option for our students and families.”

Atlanta Public Schools will make up for lost time by adding 30 minutes to each school day from Jan. 29 through March 30.

According to APS this means:

– Elementary schools will release at 3 p.m.

– High schools will release at 4 p.m.

– Middle schools will release at 4:35 p.m.

The Atlanta school district made the decision after conducting an online survey.

“With each school cancellation, I grew more concerned about the significant loss of instructional time our students had suffered,” Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said in a press release. “Although Atlanta Public Schools has the flexibility and autonomy with operational decisions and is therefore not required by the state to make up days, we know that it’s important to identify possible options for our community to consider and weigh in on. Stakeholder feedback influenced our decision significantly.”

The Decatur School Board will meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 23 and will discuss the following three options:

Option 1:

Do NOT make-up any of the three days missed.

Option 2:

Make-up one of the three days by having a normal school day on Monday, March 12th, but do NOT make-up the other two days missed. March 12th is designated on the adopted academic calendar as a potential make-up day.

Option 3:

Make-up all three days by having a normal school day on Thursday, February 22nd; Friday, February 23rd; and Monday, March 12th. All three of these dates are designated on the adopted academic calendar as potential make-up days.

Other Options:

There may be other viable options as well. For instance, we could consider adding minutes to each school day as some other school districts have done in the past.

The board agenda recommends going with Option 2. The agenda notes that CSD already decided not to make up days lost due to Hurricane Irma last year.

Decatur Superintendent David Dude has a sense of humor about the situation. He posted this on his Facebook page on Monday evening:

It's 58° and raining lightly. We'll make a decision on school tomorrow by 7 pm.

Posted by Superintendent David Dude on Monday, January 22, 2018

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About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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