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Richmond County students will make up days lost to ice storm

Monday, March 3, 2014 6:07 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 2:24 AM
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Three school days lost to February’s ice storm will be made up by Richmond County students on a furlough day, a holiday and a Saturday.

The Richmond County Board of Education approved the make-up days Monday, after slightly modifying a recommendation by Superintendent Frank Roberson to reschedule school days before elementary and middle school pupils take the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests. Roberson proposed two Saturdays and March 17.

The make-up days are March 17, March 22 — a Saturday — and April 18, which is the Friday before Easter. The school system will ask the state to reschedule the start date for CRCT tests, which were scheduled to begin April 17.

“If students are sitting to take tests, you want to make sure they have had every opportunity to do well,” Roberson said. “We want our system to show that we are preparing our students.”

Staff and students will be required to attend all the make-up days, and absences will be treated according to the normal school system policies.

Board members raised concerns about low student attendance on a Saturday, but with few options to reschedule days before testing, opted to try a Saturday class day.

Roberson said the Saturday school day is an “experiment that is worth taking.” He added that trying a Saturday would help the board know whether they could be used in the future, if needed.

Helen Minchew, the board member who recommended the approved days, said families might have to make adjustments for the make-up days but it’s important for students to make-up missed class time.

“When an ice storm comes, everybody’s plans go by the wayside anyway,” Minchew said. “At times, we have to compensate, re-do our plans and cope.”

The school board forgave three days cancelled during January’s snow storm for students. On Feb. 20, the state school board voted to allow school districts not to make up days lost to both storms.

Georgia schools are normally required to be open to students at least 180 days a year, although furlough days in Richmond County reduced the calendar by four days.

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fedex227
11138
Points
fedex227 03/03/14 - 07:20 pm
9
1
Why is this such a complicated issue?
Unpublished

Seriously, growing up in the northeast, whenever we busted the number of allocated snow days they just extended the school year by that much. It was no more than a couple of days and usually just meant that final exams week got pushed back a little.
Maybe there are things I'm not taking into consideration but it's really not rocket science.

ParentEducator
23
Points
ParentEducator 03/03/14 - 07:41 pm
6
2
Saturday is a terrible idea!

1) Parents and kids won't want to adjust to come to school. 2) Bus drivers tend to be in short supply on normal days. 3) Teachers can't treat a Saturday like any other day and continue with regular lesson plans as there is sure to be low turn out. 4) The state gave permission to forgive these days already. 5) Why not have the high schoolers go on May 23 instead of ending the year on the 22? Personally I can go along with losing the furlough days but Saturday the 22 Is a day I already had plans. We shouldn't have to change weekend plans when even the state said we didn't have to make up the days. Richmond County, what are you thinking?

Just My Opinion
5454
Points
Just My Opinion 03/03/14 - 08:47 pm
7
0
Just a sidenote on the

Just a sidenote on the comments ParentEducator makes...this teacher is maintaining anonymity here to protect her job! There are some people who criticize posters who "hide behind a screen name". Well this is one reason why some people choose to do so. This person offers comments from someone in the business and knows what they are talking about. PE knows for a FACT that, if PE offered her actual name, she would be severely reprimanded by the RCBOE. How do I know? Same exact thing happened to my sister's co-worker...but it was handed down by the CCBOE Gestapo.
Yeah, they're treated like professionals...as long as you do what they tell you to do and how to do it!
Oh, well, back to the REAL topic......

showboat
330
Points
showboat 03/03/14 - 08:49 pm
0
0
Just tell my why students
Unpublished

Just tell my why students couldn't make up the day on May 23? With all of these educated board members what are they thinking Saturday is a bad day to make up a school day!

corgimom
31022
Points
corgimom 03/03/14 - 09:04 pm
3
8
fedex, because the teachers

fedex, because the teachers here are on a tight schedule, there isn't any room for snow days. Snow days aren't a given, many years there aren't any.

And in the South, classes have to be done by a certain day on the calendar.

Oh, and PS- remember what we always say down here.

"We don't care how they do it up North"

corgimom
31022
Points
corgimom 03/03/14 - 09:06 pm
2
7
"3) Teachers can't treat a

"3) Teachers can't treat a Saturday like any other day and continue with regular lesson plans as there is sure to be low turn out."

That is not the schools' or teachers' problem, teach a normal class and if parents don't want to do the right thing by their children, that's their worry.

millymilly
110
Points
millymilly 03/03/14 - 09:07 pm
7
1
This is not acceptable. Tack

This is not acceptable. Tack on days at the end of the school year like other placea do. I actually love spending time with my children and te weekend is our family time!!! We planned a weekend visit to family that weekend!! This has to be a joke!!

millymilly
110
Points
millymilly 03/03/14 - 09:10 pm
8
1
Sorry for the typos. *places

Sorry for the typos. *places and *the. I just read the article and typed an immediate reaction. Maybe I should calm down first.

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 03/03/14 - 09:17 pm
5
0
I agree millymilly. A lot of

I agree millymilly. A lot of families plan things when kids have days off from school and Easter is a major event that many families travel on. If they seriously think they will have many students on a Saturday....what about high schoolers who work full days at their part time jobs on Saturdays and Corgimom if the school wanted to do the right thing they'd just extend a day at the end of the year. I have no problem with the furlough day but this is the idiotic solution to make up snow days. Working Saturday isn't fair to the teachers either (what about the office workers, janitors, safety officers, bus drivers, etc....)

mllange
156
Points
mllange 03/03/14 - 09:56 pm
5
1
Helen Minchew pointed out

Helen Minchew pointed out that when an ice storm comes, we have to cope and adjust our plans. So we should do the same for the inconsiderate decision to have school on a Saturday. You cannot compare an act of God to an un-wise man made decision. No, it is not worth the experiment. I adjust my schedule and deal and cope when my kids have so much homework that it goes past their bedtime. I adjust, deal and cope when a school project is assigned on a Friday and due on a Monday. I stay up late helping with science fair projects, building projects and reports. I do not complain about all of this adjusting and coping because I care about their education and as a parent, these are things I am supposed to adjust for. But now you are asking me to adjust and cope with my family time. The time we spend with our children that doesn't require the stresses of school. The obvious decision was to add days at the end of the year. It is also obvious that neither Helen or Dr. Frank thought this through or cared enough about the families to entertain the most practical solution. Who does Dr. Robertson answer to so that maybe we can appeal to this person?

Little Lamb
45231
Points
Little Lamb 03/03/14 - 11:59 pm
4
3
Dumb

Adding days at the end of the year, when all tests have been taken and all grades have been posted is dumb, dumb, dumb. The purpose of instruction is to have the results measured by testing. If you add "make-up" days after all tests have been taken, you are just in it for the money (i.e., federal attendance dollars).

avidreader
3089
Points
avidreader 03/04/14 - 06:31 am
6
0
Graduation!

The BOE has already signed contracts for the James Brown Center for graduation dates. Three additional days at the end of the school year would totally disrupt graduation plans. Saturday does suck, but we will cope. However, I do agree with the commentary above -- Saturday will be a high absenteeism day. We'll see!

Bodhisattva
5954
Points
Bodhisattva 03/04/14 - 06:33 am
4
0
I don't think they add the

I don't think they add the days after finals. I believe the missed days are instruction days, so they would be prior to finals, and the tests would still be the last days of the school year.

internationallyunknown
4026
Points
internationallyunknown 03/04/14 - 07:38 am
3
0
28 days

But its not even April yet... too early for an April Fool's joke.

Reverie
54
Points
Reverie 03/04/14 - 07:45 am
6
0
I thought we were having

I thought we were having serious budget issues? What about the cost of running the school system infrastructure for 3 days? When we were talking budget last year- rcss was ready to cut as many days as they could get away with. News flash--most teachers have already made-up the lessons for the missed days. Teachers have timelines with objectives, when faced with lost days, they consolidate information and push harder. After all, they're teachers, they know what to do. What do you think they're doing with the overtime hours for the previous makeup days. Low attendance classes are a waste of time. If 15 out of 30 didn't get the information, it will be retaught. The kids who need it the most will not be there.

onlynaugusta
41
Points
onlynaugusta 03/04/14 - 08:37 am
4
1
Good Luck

Good luck getting students to attend school on Saturday.

WAG
287
Points
WAG 03/04/14 - 08:40 am
4
5
If they added on at the end

If they added on at the end of the year people would still gripe cause they already have plans.! Dang just do it and hush! It is not the kids griping it is the parents. is this what you do at your job every time you are given a directive? Teaching kids a good lesson...mmmm

internationallyunknown
4026
Points
internationallyunknown 03/04/14 - 09:41 am
2
0
^

Dumb directives do not count...why not an extra 30 minutes each day until the time is made up.

Seems that the issue is more about planning and less about make-up.

paraprofessional
45
Points
paraprofessional 03/04/14 - 10:30 am
2
0
Saturday Make-up

Think, people - many parents will love sending their kids to school on Saturday and then having the day to themselves!

DawgnSC69
257
Points
DawgnSC69 03/04/14 - 10:26 am
1
1
Did anyone expect anything different?

Considering what we're dealing with here, why would anyone expect a different solution. We're talking about the Richmond County Board of Education. The sad thing is that it's not just the RCBOE, it's every goverment entity of Augusta/Richmond County. What a total mess.

It's very apparent the board has no clue of how to deal with simple issues. I feel bad for my friends over there and thank God my family doesn't have to deal with this ignorance. I just hope it all stays on that side of the river.

Truth Matters
6570
Points
Truth Matters 03/04/14 - 10:32 am
2
1
The board should have said,

The board should have said, "Pick one: A day from Master's week or a Saturday."

Saturday wins by a landslide.

Truth Matters
6570
Points
Truth Matters 03/04/14 - 10:38 am
2
1
9:26 am post

A South Carolinian making fun of ARC and RCBOE.....priceless.

GiantsAllDay
9361
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/04/14 - 11:07 am
2
3
Kids in Japan and South Korea

Kids in Japan and South Korea attend school a half day EVERY Saturday and those kids run circles around American kids in math and science. Richmond County kids have to go to school 3 Saturdays once every 20 years and the parents gripe and moan about it for the reasons listed on the above posts. (rolls eyes)

class1
299
Points
class1 03/04/14 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Stupid

Let's try saying it again, "STUPID."

TheDon
7
Points
TheDon 03/04/14 - 01:08 pm
1
0
Not Suprised

First we say lets take the middle school and join them with the highschool. Not even thinking about the problems that the kids are going to go through with the pressure from the older kids. The gang problem in the school system is getting ready to explode. The High School gang members are going to recruit thier new members and thier will be nothing the Mr. Robertson can do about it. Now we make a decision to add school on a Saturday. Add a day on at the end of the year. Their will be a low turnout for sure. This is the one day that the family is free because on Sunday you are getting ready for the next week. How can you tell when an organization has poor leadership; when you fail to do a critical analysis to see how it effects the person at the lowest level. The kids have sport events and some travel with teams to other places. Our leader Dr. Robertson said this is a good experiment for the future. Quit experimenting with our kids and start making sound decisions. This decision is just like the merging schools together; it clear that how it effects the kids was not taken into effect. Kids live to do thier sports or other activities and you think that they will be okay. I have a perdiction that their will be alot of kids fighting because they just don't want to be there.

mosovich
764
Points
mosovich 03/04/14 - 01:31 pm
0
4
Whine, Whine, Whine..

You people are setting a great example for your kids.. What do you tell them to stop doing when they don't get their way?? Stop whining.. Suck it up, it is what it is and we just have to deal with it..

ParentEducator
23
Points
ParentEducator 03/04/14 - 02:07 pm
4
0
Wasted day.

I totally understand those saying to suck it go and to quit whining. I feel the same way a great deal of time when I hear people complain about school issues. The issue is not working on a Saturday, it's wasting a day on a Saturday. I've tutored and worked Saturdays many times, by choice. Several schools around the county have Saturday school. That part is not the issue. There are multiple other issues. Many support people work second jobs due to the low pay for custodians, kitchen workers, bus driver's etc. Even some teachers work second jobs, what are they supposed to do about that? There is an annual teacher conference at GRU that Saturday many planned to go to, guess we can't go to that.There are many single parents that rely on daycare to watch their children during the week, will all of those also be open on that Saturday? Will all the local choir, volleyball, soccer competitions change their dates to allow students to go to school that day or will they be expected to show up and "skip" school? If we only have half of our students, will we be able to go about our normal lesson plans? No!

We are professionals, we will be there. We will plan and adjust lessons for that day. Personally, I will probably review previous lessons and prepare for EOCT's. We bend and adjust all of the time. I don't think teachers are complaining about that, it's the fact that there was so little consideration given for everyone else and not even appearing to consider alternatives such as adding 10 minutes to the end of each day, or pushing exams back 1 day and ending on the May 23 instead of the 22nd. What about just making up 2 days and not 3 days? Even now, there is still not an email from the district about this or anything on their website. We had to find out from the news! I know they make up days up north all the time but when was the last time the entire district was open on a Saturday? Will this be the first? We can't be compared to other places that expect snow and ice days on an annual basis.

Rolling Eyes
245
Points
Rolling Eyes 03/04/14 - 02:13 pm
2
0
Fox Creek High is taking Good

Fox Creek High is taking Good Friday and another full day off away from the kid's vacation and the extra 2 days will be made up by starting school a half hour earlier and staying open an extra half hour on Wednesdays for the rest of the year.

mllange
156
Points
mllange 03/04/14 - 02:16 pm
4
0
The issue isn't about "one

The issue isn't about "one not getting their way." The issue is the inconsiderate decision to have school on a Saturday. Personally, I teach my children to be responsible leaders and to always ask why. This prevents them from just following the crowd and "sucking it up and dealing with it." If my boss were to tell me I must work on my day off, the answer would be no, because I put my family first and I value the time I have with them. They are asking us to cancel previously scheduled events. I have a friend who is a 7th day Adventist and she is pretty upset about the decision as well. The RCBOE stresses parental involvement, but left us out of the loop on this decision. You are also asking the teachers to work 6 days in a week.

My thought is that this could have been handled better. Suggestions would be, asking for parents thoughts and ideas, choosing a different day during the week that the kids are off, or even scheduling on a Saturday in April or May to allow more time to reschedule events. The way I took the article was that Mrs. Minchew's attitude was non-chalant and that Robertson just went along with the idea. It was poorly presented and will be even worse when implemented.

And yes, I do believe I am setting a great example for my children. Always ask why? Is there a better way? Be considerate and reapectful of others (and their time). So instead of attacking the parenting, just tastefully disagree. I realize everyone may not parent the same as I and that everyone has a different opinon and I respect that. I guess I could "go get my hair done" as I heard someone say. It seems other parents are rejoicing in their "free Saturday." I however, am not. Thanks!

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