The next time schools are closed for snow, the makeup day could be the following Saturday. With schools having been closed six days this year for winter weather, the options for making up additional snow days now include school on Saturday, as well as extending the school year and shortening spring break.
“We know that having school on Saturdays disrupts weekend schedules for our families, and we would like to avoid it, if possible,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott. “However, parents and school personnel have told us in the past that they prefer school on Saturday to shortening or eliminating spring break or extending the school year deep into June, and our makeup plan calls for consideration of Saturday school after we miss five days.”
The last day of school for students was originally scheduled for May 28th and is now set for June 5th.
Schools will not open on a Saturday unless a day of school has been missed during the preceding week. In addition, Dr. Elliott noted that every attempt will be made to provide at least two days advance notice of having school on Saturday. “We will not open on a Saturday when schools are closed on the preceding Friday except under extreme circumstances.”
If schools are open on a Saturday, it will be an early release day, with pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students dismissing at 12:00 p.m. and the high school at 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served in all schools, and buses will run their usual routes. Pre-kindergarten classes will not meet, and the afterschool program will not operate on any Saturday.
Parents of students who miss school on a Saturday may request an excused absence by providing a written note explaining why their child was absent. Decisions about approval of excused absences are at the discretion of the school principal.
Winter weather is always an issue for the school calendar in Watauga County, but the impact on school schedules varies greatly from year to year. Schools have been closed an average of about 15 days annually over the last 39 years, and the number of days missed has ranged from a low of four days in 1990-91 to a high of 39 days in 1977-78.
For history of school closings, visit Watauga County Schools Weather Closings History