SP: No make up days

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 27, 2015

SP: No make up days

By Rupert Howell
Students enrolled in South Panola Schools tentatively will not have to make up six of eight days missed for weather and the current school calendar will be followed Superintendent Tim Wilder informed his board of trustees during a special meeting at noon Wednesday.

Wilder emphasized that he did not have authority to give employees retroactive leave meaning teachers and other employees would have to fulfill their contracts.

“If they are under contract . . . they have to work those (the number of days in the contract) days,” the superintendent said but left the door open for an expected ruling from the state Attorney General’s office Friday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

School was closed for eight days between February 18 and March 6 for poor road conditions due to snow and ice. Two weather days were built into the calendar making the number of required days needed six to reach 180, the state required number.

A ruling from the Attorney General’s office citing a 2006 opinion that school districts that have empowered superintendents with authority to close school for extreme weather would qualify for an exemption.

Wilder told the board his decision should become official once the State Department of Education receives a copy of the school board policy that authorizes him to close schools for weather, a policy adopted in 2010.

Trustee Buddy Gray questioned forgiving the makeup days during Wednesday’s meeting stating, “I think we are depriving the kids of six days of education. . . Everyday is important for a kid to be in school,” Gray argued adding, “I think we’re losing sight of what we’re trying to do.”
Wilder said he understood Gray’s concerns stating that he had thought about it long and hard over a period of several days.

“If I though it was going to hurt academically, I wouldn’t do it,” Wilder said.

The superintendent noted stated mandated testing dates would come prior to prior to some of makeup days and likened it to the football team having an 11-1 season, playing in a championship on Saturday and preparing Monday for another game but taking off two months afterward.

Although no official action was taken by the trustee board, other members including Sandra C. Darby, Kenny Hopper, Jerry Cooley and Lygunnah Bean either agreed with Wilder’s decision or didn’t voice an opinion.

Good Friday and Memorial Day holidays, April 3 and May 25 respectively, will still be observed with the last day of school scheduled for May 22 and graduation May 23.

For updates check the next print and online edition of The Panolian or panolian.com for further developments.