CHARLES TOWN – Superintendent Susan Wall said she expects the school year for Jefferson County’s students to be extended to June 12, absent further school cancellations.
[cleeng_content id="430872418" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]“June 12 would be the last day for students, tentatively,” she said in an interview Tuesday.
The details of the school schedule won’t be finalized until March, when the Board of Education will make final scheduling decisions.
“There could be other days [cancelled], and you hate to tell students, ‘This is what you are going to do,’ and then come back a week later and say, ‘Oops, we’re going to have to change it again,’” Wall said. “On or after March 1 is pretty much when you are past your bad weather.”
Schools have so far missed nine days, said Wall, due to inclement weather. It’s a decisions she says she does not take lightly.
“It’s not an easy decision to cancel school, but we always look out for the safety of students,” she said. “You err on the side of the children’s safety because you can make up an instructional day.”
Wall notes that 1,500 Jefferson County students walk between three-tenths of a mile and one mile to their bus stops.
“With hypothermia and frostbite, you don’t want to take the chance of a loss of life or limb,” she said.
The county’s schools currently have eight days scheduled in which students would not normally attend school, but which can be easily converted into school days. Wall says the remaining day could be made up using a combination of lengthening the school day by a few minutes and using extra teaching minutes built into the current school day.
“There is a required number of minutes of instruction,” Wall said. “We have more minutes per day than what is required, so that is accrued or back time.”