*UPDATED FRIDAY MARCH 1*
With schools closed due to weather on Friday there will not be Saturday school.
*UPDATED 9:55am with new information from Watauga County Schools*
Watauga County Schools will be open on Saturday, March 2nd, unless schools are closed for inclement weather on Friday, March 1st.
Saturday will be an early release day, with kindergarten through eighth grade students dismissing at 12:00 p.m. and the high school at 1:00 p.m.Consistent with past practice for Saturday openings, pre-kindergarten classes will not meet and the afterschool program will not operate. Lunch will be served in all schools and buses will run their usual routes.
“We know that having school on Saturdays disrupts weekend schedules for students, parents, and school employees, and we prefer to avoid it whenever possible,” said Superintendent Dr. David Kafitz. “However, using Saturday as a makeup day may reduce the risk of shortening spring break or extending the school year beyond Friday, June 7th.”
Schools could open on two other Saturdays this year if and only if they are closed during a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of the same week. The remaining Saturdays that might be used as makeup days are March 16th and April 13th. Other Saturdays are off limits because school buildings are committed to other uses or because of spring break.
If schools are closed again on a Thursday or Friday, the missed days will be made up by extending the school year up to two more days (to June 7th) and then by shortening spring break by up to two days if necessary. The possible makeup days from spring break would be Friday, April 5th and Thursday, April 4th. The first three days of spring break (April 1-3) will not be used as makeup days under any circumstances.
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.
As of February 26, schools have been closed 11 days for winter weather during the current school year and the last day of school has been pushed back to June 5th.
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 in Watauga County have been closed an average of about 14.5 days annually over the last 36 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.