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Parents, teachers mad about Wake makeup schedule

Posted March 4, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

Wake County Public School System
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— Parents and teachers are upset that Wake County schools have scheduled class for the first two days of spring break to makeup days lost to recent snowstorms.

Traditional-calendar schools were supposed to be off the week of April 6, but they will now be in session April 6-7 because school was canceled on Jan. 20 and on Monday for inclement weather.

Wake County school calendar Makeup days intrude on spring break

"It's disappointing they did this at the beginning of spring break," said Cindy Sinkez, whose daughter is a senior at Panther Creek High School.

The school's band plans to be in New York that week, and Sinkez said she's upset her daughter will have to miss two days of school.

"Missing any days messes up with her exams at the end of the school year," she said.

Tama Bouncer, vice president of the Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said she has gotten calls and e-mails from teachers who are concerned, too.

"Some of the comments are basically about having already made plans to be out of town and having bought plane tickets," said Bouncer, a music teacher at Swift Creek Elementary School.

The school district is required by state law to have 180 class days each year, and there aren't many options left for scheduling makeup days, spokesman Michael Evans said.

"We have federal and state holidays (in the schedule). We have teacher-protected workdays. So, the ability for us to plan inclement weather days is limited," Evans said.

Wake schools have nine or 10 designated makeup days each year for inclement weather. Half of them are built into the first semester in the event of a hurricane, and the others are scheduled later in the year.

Saturdays aren't feasible for makeup days because district administrators feel it's too expensive and cumbersome to bus 138,000 students to and from school on a weekend, Evans said. There are no teacher workdays left in the year that aren't required by law, and the Save Our Summers Law, which was adopted a few years ago, mandates that the school year end by June 10, he said.

Still, parents and teachers said it's unfair to take away part of spring break.

"I kind of think that spring break needs to maintained as a week that kids get off," Sinkez said.

Teachers are contractually required to work those makeup days, and those with vacation plans likely will have to take a non-paid leave day or work something out with their principals. Bouncer said she hopes administrators take the circumstances of the schedule into consideration.

"What I would hope is that the principals would be willing to be flexible with those teachers who have made plans," she said.

Principals will likely count unexcused absences against students who miss the school days, unless families can convince their school principal their trips have an educational component or medical or emergency reason.

The district's calendar is set by a committee of administrators, parents and teachers, and the calendar for the 2009-10 school year also schedules three days of spring break as possible make-up days for inclement weather.

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  • james27613 Mar 5, 2009

    You're right, total waste of energy to bus the kids on a Saturday, plus they will miss the activities they signed up for, like Karate, Dance, Sports, etc.

    They spend 3 hours or so at school on Saturday, no lunch either.

    My oldest son is in year-round school (which I love). He is suppose to track out on Friday, the 6th. But then he has to go to school on Saturday. On the last make up day they had on a Saturday, they went to school, watched a couple of movies and came home 3 HOURS LATER. What is the point? They did not do anything that was constructive or educational.

  • james27613 Mar 5, 2009

    My daughter is tracked out from Sycamore Creek Elementary
    starting Friday night, (they are on bus trip to VA at 4:30 AM Friday)

    She will not be at school for the makeup day on Saturday.

  • Adelinthe Mar 5, 2009

    That's how they do it up north. What do these people want? Freebies?

    God bless.

    RB

  • hawk_fan Mar 5, 2009

    What's the issue? If you have plans, keep them and make up the work when you return.

    Teachers with more than a year of experience should always be aware of the fact that spring break is not written in stone.

  • SME2 Mar 5, 2009

    I wonder how many people complaining are the same people who supported the Save Our Summers Law? Quite a few!

    Also I am sure it is not lost in the minds of the Wake Board of Education that the make up days more than likely affect the parents in areas like Apex, Cary and North Raleigh who make the most noise about not wanting reassignments. Enjoy your just desserts!

  • NC Reader Mar 5, 2009

    thought -- I couldn't agree with your latest post more. It's natural for parents to be frustrated when their plans are changed, but I think the important thing is to let our children see us make the best of things regardless. If I had a planned vacation, my family would still go on the trip and the children would miss school (hopefully with an excused absence for educational reasons, since we spend much of our time at historic sites and museums anyway). However, we don't have a trip planned, so the children will go to school, and I won't make a big deal out of it. If our parents and grandparents lived through the Depression and World War II, we can live through this.

    By the way, I'm sorry to hear about your job. I hope that you find another, if you haven't already done so.

  • RonnieR Mar 5, 2009

    Probably overtime.

  • ConcernedNCC Mar 5, 2009

    Saturdays aren't feasible for makeup days because district administrators feel it's too expensive and cumbersome to bus 138,000 students to and from school on a weekend, Evans said.


    And what makes it more expensive to truck everybody in on a weekend rather than a weekday that was planned to be off? His statement makes no sense at all.

  • AnneM71 Mar 5, 2009

    Wah Wah Wah! I am so sick of the whiney parents in this county. When my older children were in school they had to make up the days when the teachers were on strike for a month. How would you like that!!!! Suck it up and grow up. Life isn't fair. Maybe it is time your children started learning that. So my youngest has to go to school for 2 days on spring break OH Well. He will complain, just like the adults that are complaining. But he will be in school. No wonder our country ranks so low in education the parents are more concerned about their own desires then making sure their children are getting educated. I never realized that we would raise such a bunch of babies to be adults.

  • time4real Mar 5, 2009

    oh for the sake of ytb781pearl let's debate it a little longer.
    I say keep 'em home. Book a trip. Schedule a visit somewhere new. Go to a movie. Go to the park. Go spend some Obama money and save the country, BUT DO NOT SEND YOU KID TO SCHOOL! Give the board the middle finger LOUD & CLEAR!

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