Snow days shuffle city, county school schedules

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Each year snow days are often a hot topic among students, parents and school administrators. More so this year then ever thanks to the Crossroads area’s abnormally harsh winter.

Alcorn School District students have missed seven full days and have had one delayed start during the current 2014-15 school year due to weather related reasons.

Most recently last week, when county students were released both Thursday and Friday due to icy road conditions. The two extra days off set up an extended Spring Break period as students will not return to session until March 16.

“We’ll be able to make up a few of those missed days with backup days already built into the schedule,” said Superintendent Gina Rogers Smith. “Three missed days will be made up, so right now we will only have to schedule class on four off days.”

Smith confirmed students will be in session on Good Monday, April 6, while other make up days will be announced soon.

In the Corinth School District, class isn’t canceled as often.

County roads are often more treacherous after snow and ice storms then city roads, making travel to and from school harder.

During the current 2014-15 school year, city schools have missed five days which is above average.

“It has been a very unpredictable winter,” said the district’s marketing manager Taylor Coombs. “With two days built into the calendar, we generally do not have to make up extra days. In fact, we haven’t used them in the last few years.”

Things will change this spring, when city schools will be forced to schedule school on three normal off days.

Corinth and Alcorn County snow days will be discussed among the Magnolia state’s political leaders next week.

District 2 Rep. Nick Bain (D-Alcorn) and District 1 Rep. Lester “Bubba” Carpenter (R-Alcorn, Tishomingo) will meet with members of the Mississippi Department of Education to discuss the different options local schools have to make-up the many days missed.

“We want to try to find a way to modify or forgive the school days missed,” said Bain. “We are not sure if something can be done this late in the session, but we want to understand the options. It’s more serious this year thanks to the large number of days most school districts have had to miss due to the weather.”

A handful of other legislators representing northern counties will also join Bain and Carpenter at the meeting.

“I think legislatively we need to change the way things are done — the way days and student time is counted,” said Bain. “There has to be a fair option and hopefully we can figure out how to help parents and the school districts.”

Current Mississippi law says students have to attend school 180 days per school year. Adding minutes to days to makeup missed time is not currently allowed.

“I hope our representatives can do something about the missed days. We can’t do anything about the weather, we are responsible however for the safety of the children and the staff we serve,” added Smith. “I had rather make up the time then take a chance with people’s lives.”

Despite a change on the state level, makeup snow days are expected to be announced at each district’s upcoming school board meetings.

The Alcorn School District will meet Monday at 5 p.m., while Corinth School District’s March meeting is currently unscheduled.

By Zack Steen for the Daily Corinthian

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