Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 24, 2014

Students face eight makeup days

The snow: pretty unless there’s too much. This winter’s weather: cold, colder, coldest. BBBRRRR!

School makeup days due to cancellations are “kind of a hot topic in the community,” Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts told trustees Jan. 20.

Eight days have been missed so far: Dec. 6, Dec. 10, Dec. 16, Jan. 6, Jan. 7, Jan. 8, Jan. 17 and Jan. 21.

These scheduled makeup days will take effect, he announced: Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 17 (Presidents Day), March 17-21 (all of spring break’s first of two weeks) and April 18 (Good Friday). “Obviously, (remedial and enrichment learning) intersessions are sacrificed” during spring break because of the makeup days.

State superintendent of public instruction Glenda Ritz will allow school corporations to apply for waivers for missed days on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 only, which means, if granted, those students will go to school for 178 days instead of the required 180.

BCSC is not applying for waivers yet because Roberts feels it’s important for students to get in as much education as they can before standardized tests in April and May. Makeup days after those tests or, worse yet, for seniors after graduation won’t be as effective.

In addition to phone calls and e-mails from parents begging for the waivers so families can take already-planned vacations during spring break’s first week, “I’ve heard things like waiving the days might save the corporation money. Here’s the math on that”: BCSC spends $60,000 per day for personnel ($40,000 for salaried teachers, $10,000 for hourly classified employees and $10,000 for 12-month employees). If two days are waived, BCSC would save $20,000 on bus drivers and hourly employees, but $100,000 would be spent “whether we make them up or not.”

If more bad weather arrives, Roberts said BCSC may apply for waivers before the June 1 deadline. The alternative is for students to attend classes May 30, then June 2 on. Graduation is slated for June 7. “I appreciate the flexibility (of having waivers). I think we might need it,” he admitted.

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