Liberty County students will not have to make up any missed days due to the August eclipse and Hurricane Irma.
The school system didn’t hold classes Aug. 21 for the eclipse and Sept. 8-13 because of Hurricane Irma — a total of five days.
In September, the district received an email from the state saying the Pre-K Center will have to make up at least one day because Pre-K is only allowed to miss four days a year. School officials decided all students would make up at least one day.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry wanted feedback from the schools on when to make it up.
At the board meeting Tuesday, Perry said the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is not requiring the Pre-K to make up any days and survey results from the schools showed that teachers and staff believed a make-up day was unnecessary.
“Talking to our staff, principals they understand the task ahead of us that in some kind of way we’ve got to make up that instruction,” Perry said. “We’ve already started.”
Perry said teachers are addressing missed instruction time in their classrooms, doing study halls and after-school tutoring. Some schools are holding classes on Saturdays.
Board member Carol Guyett agreed with not making up the days.
“Our calendar is very tight,” Guyett said “If you tack on a day at Christmas or at the end of the school year and your intent is to improve instruction, you have not accomplished that intent. So I think by the teachers addressing it in their classrooms they know what they’ve got to cover and I’ve been seeing we’re doing Saturday school, after school tutoring. Talking with some other systems they’ve done similar things.”
Board member Verdell Jones also agreed and didn’t want students to suffer from missed instructional time.
Board member Carolyn Smith Carter commended Dr. Perry for getting teacher input.
Board Chair Lily Baker agreed with the recommendation and believed principals will be holding teachers accountable for making up lost time.
The board approved unanimously to not make up the days.
In other business the board approved, 4-1, revisions to their governance handbook. Board member Marcus Scott IV opposed.
Scott’s revisions to the handbook were not submitted in time before the meeting.
Baker said the handbook is a “working document” and can always be changed at a later time to address his concerns.