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Students won't have to make up missed snow day

COVINGTON - Students in the Newton County School System won't have to make up their snow day from earlier this month.

At last week's monthly work session, the Newton County Board of Education members unanimously approved a recommendation from NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley that allows students not to make up the March 2 snow day. The recommendation called for the day not to be made up for student attendance, but staff members will be required to make up the day through activities and record keeping.

"The only times (to make up the missed school day) are in the upcoming two weeks," Whatley said during the meeting. "If not, we would have go into spring holidays or adding to the end of the year."

Rather than cutting into already allotted times off, the board decided to give the students a free day.

Although some school systems in metro Atlanta that canceled classes that day when a weather system dumped several inches of snow on the ground are requiring their students to make up the missed school day, the Official Code of Georgia allows for this school calendar change.

The code reads, "A local board may, without the necessity of authorization from the state board, elect not to continue school into the following week if the additional days otherwise needed are the result of days when school was closed due to emergency, disaster, act of God, civil disturbance and shortage of vital or critical material. In such case, the local board of education may terminate school at the end of the last school day of the last complete week of the school year."

Neighboring Rockdale County Public Schools also chose to exercise this free day option, but it also changed its 2010-11 calendar to include a provisional day in the event of snow or other inclement weather; since their 2010-11 school year is scheduled to end on Thursday, May 26, 2011, a needed snow day could be made up on the following Friday.

NCSS has not added an inclement weather day to its school calendar for its already developed 2009-10 school year, which is scheduled to end on May 28, 2010.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.