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Columbia County Board of Education to forgive snow days

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The Columbia County Board of Edu­cation voted Tuesday not to bring children back to school to make up two days missed during this month’s ice storm.

The board acted on a recommendation from Superintendent Sandra Carraway to forgive the days missed on Feb. 13 and 14 for students and to ask employees only to make up one of those days, splitting 3-2 in favor of the motion.

Carraway said the only other option would be to bring students and teachers back to school on April 14, the Monday after the Masters Tournament, which had been scheduled as a vacation day.

Board member Mike Sleeper expressed reservations over the action, citing fiscal concerns and the board’s responsibility to the taxpayers.

He said the county had a contract with teachers to pay them for 190 days and should enforce it.

“I would rather add the Monday after the Masters,” Sleeper said. “That is my preference.”

Trustee Roxanne Whitaker also expressed concern that teachers would not have enough time to properly prepare students for the CRCT exams in May.

“My main concern is the CRCT, “ she said. “The teachers have already missed five days of instruction.”

Columbia County students have missed five days of school since Jan. 1 because of two winter storms.

Carraway said the board had already authorized forgiving two of the days and making up a third day from the ice storm March 14.

That left two days up for debate.

Trustee Kristi Baker said she doubted bringing back teachers for the April 14 make-up date would actually accomplish anything.

Many families have already made plans to be out of town that day and that might affect attendance.

“If you are going to bring back the teachers, I want the students to be there,” she said.

Trustee David Dekle pointed out that teachers already work many hours outside their planned workdays and he didn’t see the point in bringing them back for one day in April.

“I think our teachers are professional and we should treat them like professionals. They don’t need to punch a clock,” he said.

“I think they will do their job and have our children ready (for the CRCT tests.)”

The motion passed with Chair­woman Regina Buccafusco, Baker and Dekle voting in favor and Sleeper and Whitaker opposed.

Comments (17) Add comment
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wildman
1181
Points
wildman 02/26/14 - 06:14 am
3
0
Please

Will someone ask Sleeper how many days he had to make up at his day job? What a man?

fatboyhog
2082
Points
fatboyhog 02/26/14 - 06:39 am
8
0
190 days pay

How many hours off the clock do teachers in Columbia County spend preparing for class and doing school related work because of inane bureaucracy, Mr Sleeper? How much money do teachers pay out of their own pocket to pay for class-related materials that the BOE can't or won't supply, Mr. Sleeper? Do teachers working on their own time to prepare for class count towards that 190 days of pay, or are to happy to accept "free work?" A as taxpayer, I say that when the governor declares a state of emergency, common sense and a common sense of decency prevail. I would think that the vast majority of teachers give you way more work hours (days) than their contract calls for.

Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 02/26/14 - 07:55 am
3
4
So, let's get this straight.

So, let's get this straight. Forgiving FOUR days of instruction, that is, what 3.5 hours of instruction per class or so? All this just so people can have their proper vacations. And we wonder why we lag behind other states. Sad, it seems the tail is wagging the dog. When will we put the best interest of kid above ALL else?

nocnoc
46841
Points
nocnoc 02/26/14 - 08:31 am
3
0
We have a case Weather Prejudice here

Snow gets a pass, but ICE doesn't

Humor people just humor ;-)

nocnoc
46841
Points
nocnoc 02/26/14 - 08:33 am
1
0
But Seriously

Next Time, why not also assign homework reading when schools know in advance they will be closed.

Marinerman1
5253
Points
Marinerman1 02/26/14 - 12:43 pm
7
0
Three Board Members Have It Right

And David Dekle said it best. As a husband to a Columbia County teacher, trust me, the County gets MUCH more than their "paid" 190 days. While I like Mike Sleeper, "walk a mile in my wife's moccasins", before you make that kind of statement again. The sheer volume of paperwork that is required by the State and County, is unbelievable.

Little Lamb
47847
Points
Little Lamb 02/26/14 - 09:29 am
1
1
Weak

Steve Crawford reported:

School Superintendent Sandra Carraway said the only other option would be to bring students and teachers back to school on April 14, the Monday after the Masters Tournament, which had been scheduled as a vacation day.

Excuse me, but it is disconcerting to see a school superintendent of a system as large as this one saying that there is only one way to schedule a make-up day. That shows lack of creativity and low intelligence.

Why, I can think of dozens of ways to schedule make-up days! I hope the paragraph was the reporter’s error and does not reflect what Ms. Carraway actually said.

Little Lamb
47847
Points
Little Lamb 02/26/14 - 09:32 am
1
1
180 Days

That being said, I think the board acted correctly in shortening the number of days of instruction. The next time you hear a board member whine about how critical it is to provide the full 180 day school year, remember the action they took in 2014.

The 180 days is an arbitrary number and should never be construed as carved in stone.

GodisSoGood
1017
Points
GodisSoGood 02/26/14 - 10:51 am
4
0
Too bad the snow days

Too bad the snow days weren't a shutdown forced by the federal government. Funny how the government can put their workers out of work, and then compensate them after the fact. In other words, give them a paid vacation. teachers work well over 40 hours a week. They should be cut some slack.

Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 02/26/14 - 11:56 am
0
4
Up north (where there are

Up north (where there are much higher test scores) many districts used online classes those days. You can do that stuff even on a smart phone.

Echoes86
911
Points
Echoes86 02/26/14 - 12:30 pm
3
1
Mr. Thackeray

The Internet was out for many homes and many people couldn't keep their cell phones charged. I feel like you're not being understanding of the situation that the CSRA was in. Were you in town during the ice storm?

corgimom
36387
Points
corgimom 02/26/14 - 01:03 pm
2
3
"We care deeply about

"We care deeply about childrens' education- as long as it doesn't interfere with the Masters."

Signed, CCBOE

pja5529
2665
Points
pja5529 02/26/14 - 01:08 pm
2
0
Corgimom

It does kinda seem that way corgimom.

NrthAugustaSam
504
Points
NrthAugustaSam 02/26/14 - 01:16 pm
1
0
Sleeper, Really?

What are you doing? We've got your grade and it is a big fat zero. You missed the bus.

Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 02/26/14 - 04:03 pm
1
0
Echoes, I sure was...no

Echoes, I sure was...no power...charge my phone & tablet in the car! ;)

Marinerman1
5253
Points
Marinerman1 02/26/14 - 04:18 pm
2
0
C'mon Corgimom

It is not just Columbia County... I have not even HEARD of the make-up plan for Richmond County yet.

What next
53
Points
What next 02/26/14 - 04:19 pm
2
0
CRCT is in April "Trustee

CRCT is in April

"Trustee Roxanne Whitaker also expressed concern that teachers would not have enough time to properly prepare students for the CRCT exams in May."

The CRCT usually starts right after we get back from spring break. The one day added would not make much difference at that time.

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