Local News

Absences up on Wake school makeup day

Posted April 6, 2009 10:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2009 2:26 a.m. EDT

Wake County Public School System

— Wake County school officials said that 18.5 percent of students were absent on Monday, which was a makeup day.

That contrasts to a 5 percent absentee rate Monday a week ago, said Greg Thomas, a spokesman for the school system.

Monday and Tuesday were originally scheduled to be part of spring break. They were changed to makeup days after snow forced schools to be closed Jan. 20 and March 2.

Principals will likely count unexcused absences against students, unless families can convince their school principal their trips have an educational component or medical or emergency reason. Teachers with vacation plans had to take a non-paid leave day or work out another arrangement with their principals.

When they announced the makeup days, administrators said that several factors limited when the days could be scheduled: It's expensive and cumbersome to bus students on Saturdays, the rest of teacher workdays are required by state law, and the Save Our Summers Law requires 180-year school year to end by June 10.

Wake schools have nine or 10 designated makeup days each year, and half are built into the first semester in the case of a hurricane.

The 2009-10 school year calendar – set by a committee of administrators, parents and teachers – also designates three days of spring break as possible make-up days.