Fayette schools to make up 3 lost ice days during Feb. winter break

The Fayette County Board of Education Tuesday night voted unanimously to make up during the February winter break three of the five days lost last week to the winter storm that saw schools closed all week across the northern half of Georgia.

Superintendent Jeff Bearden in proposing the alternatives for making up the lost days suggested options such as taking advantage of the four emergency days allowed by the state and requesting a waiver for the fifth day, making up all five missed days or making up a few of the days since winter is not over and additional emergency days might be needed if another winter storm hits.

A fourth option, Bearden said, would be to add additional time to school days to make up the lost time. That option comes with obstacles such as daycare arrangements and overtime pay for some school system employees, Bearden said.

A lengthy discussion by the board followed Bearden’s presentation. Among the topics were concerns of the potential for lost revenue, operational costs and the potential of compromising the various batteries of tests such as CRCT and graduation tests.

Asked for his recommendation, Bearden suggested that the system make up three of the five days. His recommendation included the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the winter break period that runs Feb. 21-25.

“This would put us at 178 days with two days to play with for additional emergency days,” Bearden said.

Bearden also noted that some families and employees might have pre-arranged plans for the winter break week, plans that might not be able to be altered.

Along with their unanimous vote to approve the three make-up days, the board agreed that accommodations would be made for students and employees unable to alter their winter vacation plans.

fayettewtf
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Gets better and better...

So all the around the year staff had to report to work on the Friday of the winter storm. If the roads aren't safe for kids... why would they make any staff attend? Yet another way the new Super wants to have it both ways..

So now it's 'safety first'..but some staff should come in on the 'dangerous roads'....

And THEN it is 'education first'...but lets make it optional and busy work...and give um subs...and para-pros...and field trips.

What a joke.

fayettewtf
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Absurd

I encourage all parents/teachers to attend the Feb 15th Board Meeting. It is February 15th 7:00 p.m. at the central office located at 210 Stonewall Avenue, Fayetteville.

To get on the agenda, I encourage you to call the county office at 770-460-3535, zero out, and be transferred to the secretary to the Superintendent. Ask to be put on the agenda. You'll get 3 minutes to speak your peace.

This was an absurd move.

Sleeping Beauty
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Missed work

Of course those students out for an absence (illness/funeral) as you suggest,will make up the work, however we are blogging here about a mass of teacher/student absences! Scheduling one or two for re-teaching missed material is not the issue. Scheduling 40-50 is! Plus the fact that when those that were absent for the three days return, they would have missed what went on in the class as the class moved forward and they will be lost until they can "catch up." Not all students perform at the same level within the class and therefore it can cause those that were there to suffer through the many questions that are bound to occur. So then those that were in attendance wasted there three days attending so that the absent students can play "catch up?"
Many of the families plans, church groups and teachers use this time for travel to enhance their relationships, religion and educational experiences when travel is more affordable and less crowded. Never mind that these "trips" are as valuable and many can benefit from the experiences when they are shared.

jmatthews
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Quit whining, give solutions

Indeed trips are valuable. They are great tools to supplement and enhance the school's curriculum, not replace it.

What solution are you whiners proposing? Just forget the days? What if we miss 2 more days? Forget those also?

jmatthews
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Snow makeup days are a good idea

Enough already you bunch of whiners!!! Our kids lost 5 days of class. Sure, the state says you don't have to makeup 4 days; however, that means the schools would be teaching only 176 days (contrary to what some uninformed citizens wrote below, the Fayette County does not "build in" snow days to its calendar). Days lost for bad weather are lost days of instruction.

Fayette County has always exceeded state requirements and expectations, so whether required to do so or not, the schools SHOULD makeup days. Our kids deserve an education. If you have a vacation that cannot be rescheduled, take it. BUT understand your child will need to makeup the work.

Any parent who doesn't want the kids to makeup days is a lousy parent. Any teacher that doesn't provide worthwhile instruction on the makeup days should be fired.

Enough you whining parents! You want ALL our kids to be deprived of an education because you don't want your spoiled brats to be responsible for completing a FULL year of school.

I am tired of whining teachers because you are an embarrassment to the dedicated ones in your profession.

wildcat
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question for jmatthews (and soundofm)

Are you wanting the teachers (those that canceled their plans) to move forward with their lessons? If moving forward, when are the missing students going to get caught up? I think it is safe to assume that the teachers will not be available every morning/afternoon for help due to parent meetings, faculty meetings, committee meetings, duty and games (for the coaches). And let's further assume that this is a math class (I, II, or III). What are your thoughts on how these students are going to learn the missed material?

Oh yea...just to liven it up a bit...let's pretend that your neighbor's kid is in the classroom with the math teacher that is going forward for three days while your kid is in the classroom with the sub. Please remember, in the state of Georgia, the only requirement to being a sub is a high school diploma. So, for the sake of this scenario, let's assume that your kid's sub doesn't know any of the math. Remember, we are talking Math I, II, or III, not elementary/middle school math.

If the teacher opts to do a three-day intense review for the graduation test or EOCT, how fair is that for the students that miss? How fair is it to the kids that get the sub that doesn't know any math? Is it their fault their parents used the school-issued calendar and made plans? I'll answer that for you...it is not fair.

I'm just curious. You both seem so rigid and opinionated regarding the missed days. Both of you have made comments that parents/teachers that do not want to make up the days are pretty much losers and/or whiners that don't put education first. What is a win-win situation for ALL students? I think it is safe to assume that neither of you are going on vacation and your kids will be in class otherwise you would be tooting a different horn.

I am most interested in your ideas. Please post them.

jmatthews
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My answers

Of course, I want teachers to move forward with lesson plans (duh!). Our kids have lost 5 days of school. Students who miss school will need to "catch up" the same way students have to "catch up" when they are out of school for an illness or a funeral. The same techniques need to be employed.

Re: substitute teachers, as always competent teachers who are absent will leave carefully prepared lesson plans and the incompetent ones will have wasted time in their classrooms.

Regarding your 3rd paragraph about "fairness." You are obviously overlooking the ultimate unfairness - resigning ourselves to our kids just losing 5 days of school. With your [rigid] approach of just forgetting about the lost days, my taxes won't be decreased, teacher pay won't be decreased, but student learning will decreased. Now, how fair is that?

A couple of people on this forum seem to think that 5 lost days is no big deal. Any teacher who can just waste away 5 days isn't much of a teacher. Thank goodness, most teachers don't think that way. I have heard some good teachers say they need those lost days back.

Regarding your 4th paragraph, I don't think I am being rigid. Days of instruction lost need to made up. What is so confusing about that? We are talking about making up 3 days, not 5 - what is so rigid about that?

Regarding our plans. We have changed them to a shortened (3 day vacation) so my kids can be in school. Education matters to us. For those who cannot change plans (because they are nonrefundable), view the days missed the same as days for illness. It is your kids' job to get "caught up."

Students deserve caring teachers with high expectations. My kids have had some great ones. Unfortunately, we've also had some mediocre ones. I suspect that they will be the ones whose classes will learn little or nothing on the makeup days. How tragic! How terribly, terribly unfair.

wildcat
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I don't know, jmatthew..

...it sounds good (catch up in the normal way) but what I suspect you do not know is that most teachers teach more than one subject, some teach three different subjects a day. Very seldom is one fortunate enough to have just one prep. (Woe to the elem teacher that has to catch up her absent kids on ALL subjects.) Ok, so let's say you have seven kids out for vacation from each of your six classes. That would be 42 kids to catch up across a minimum of two different subjects between 8:00-8:30 and 3:30-4:00 barring meetings, duties, games, and zero period. A scheduling nightmare, yes? I am not writing that it could not be done, but could it be done in a timely enough fashion? Who knows?

And you are 100% right. As long as the teacher leaves carefully prepared lesson plans any sub should be able to teach any subject and also field any questions the kids might have. That was sarcasm. I know I couldn't field questions in the German class or the AP chem class. But, according to your logic, if the teacher leaves carefully prepared lesson plans I should be able to teach and answer questions. I'm done responding to you. You live in wonderful, black and white world...enjoy it!!

allegedteacher
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jmatthews

Take a pill and stay off the computer!

roundabout
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alleged teacher

Critical studies concerning why our students aren't improving but getting worse have shown that they learn but lose much of it due to absence from classes.

Even being out 2 of 7 days a week is harmful to learning.

And especially the school systems who close for several days or even more than a week several times a year greatly harm learning.

Certainly closing for the summer entirely is very detrimental. Makes no sense at all.

Closing at the end of a semester for a few days, or an occasional one day holiday (but not with a combined week-end) is useful for reflection.

We treat schooling as much less important than our own schedule.
This is where we get all these stupidos with bad attitudes and ill manners of today's generation! They learned from the parents of the same-same last generation.

jmatthews
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I HOPE you are not a teacher

I hope you really are NOT a teacher. First, people who can't defend their positions with logic (such as you) merely degrade those with whom they disagree. We don't need those people teaching our children.

Second, we don't need teachers who think the solution to every problem is medication (i.e., "take a pill") Diagnose kids as ADD, ADHD, and a hundred other maladies and then prescribe medicine. We have enough of those kinds of teachers.

AtHomeGym
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Matthews & Teachers

Surely you must know that teachers neither diagnose nor prescribe medication--that is only done by medical professionals. Get a grip & seek the truth--don't be misled by rumor & innuendo.

allegedteacher
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Logic?

So your logic, Matthews, is to denigrate anyone who does not share your opinions? And do I correctly assume you are a teacher evaluator? You also seem to have a problem understanding nonliteral language. Run for the school board, and join the ranks of other self-important know-it-alls. Finally, please, please, please consult a thesaurus for synonyms for "whining."

wxman
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I filled out the survey and...

it sounds like they listened...we still will have 2 days saved "in the bank" in case we get a day or two with some scary flurries.

Even though what is done is done, maybe Wed. to Fri. the other week we should have just told people to "be careful" it may be slippery still in some areas yet; rather than shut the whole county down for a few remaining slippery roads.

concerned family
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Sad no lesson plans

Sad to think the children that will be at school for the three make up days will not be learning anything. Since my children came home from school today to inform me that the teachers were taking polls to see how many staudents will be at school to figure out if they need to plan a lesson to teach or if they will have to teach the lesson again because so many students will be out. There were more then half of the students that said they will be out. I wonder how many teachers will be out and the subs will not be teaching anything just playing movies. The board needs to be discussing with the teachers why they think it's okay to base lesson plans on the number of students attending school.........

heatjam
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Telling the truth?

Just how many of those students were telling the truth? I know this is a "travelling" community, but please! I don't buy the fact that half of the students have set travel plans...they just don't want to bother coming to school. And I have to say, my daughter is probably one of them. She doesn't want to go. I just told her "tough toodles toots...you're going!"

thinkingisgood
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The Board just voted on it?

The Board of Education in each county in Georgia job is only to make policy. If the Superintendent makes a request for a policy change then it is up to the Board to approve or disapporve his recommendaitons. The 3 days off policy the School Board appoved was only a recommendation they could have looked at other possibility, but they must not have wanted to work thing out for the community, but had rather go along with the Superintendent in this case and most every case.

roundabout
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School funding

Isn't funding from the state based on attendance?

They can't "not report" absences due to "vacations!"

Just Saying
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If only...

If the schools had been open on Thursday and/or Friday, all of this wouldn't even be an issue.

Spyglass
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IF a frog had pockets

he would carry pistols and shoot snakes.

I'm assuming you inspected all roads and found them passable? Why didn't you make the FCBOE aware of your findings and provide transportation, all the while assuming the liability. It's not like Fayette was the only area system out last Thurs/Fri. But I digress.

Davids mom
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Roads in Fayette County

were not all 'safe' on Thursday and Friday. (My son's car rolled off the embankment of a Fayette County road - while going 10 miles an hour.) The police cars and fire truck had difficulty getting to the car. The Superintendent and the BOE have the safety of children and staff members in mind - and made a good decision in my opinion.

thinkingisgood
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3 days in the middle of the week?

Why not just make up the one day. It is about every ten years we have this type of weather. That day could be the last day of school or the first day of spring break. I don't feel as if much thought was put into this method of making up a day. The people pay the bills and the board and administration salary. They sould reconsider this right away. I feel as this is another decision that will come back during the next election to haunt the school board. When will you start thinking of the people and students of this county. You saved a lot of money when the schools where closed. Don't try to fool the people that it is about money. I would not advise you to come up with some splosh anytime soon, because it want pass again. I know of groups that have plans that will lose thousands of dollars that they work hard to apply on trips during this break. What is wrong with spring break. It wasn't considered because of CRCT and Graduation test is what I understand. If the students haven't had a oppertunity to study then that is the admistration fault. This is policy and fall completely on the School Boards back. All parents and votingcitizen should call each board member at home, because they never answer their e-mails.

thinkingisgood
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3 days in the middle of the week?

Why not just make up the one day. It is about every ten years we have this type of weather. That day could be the last day of school or the first day of spring break. I don't feel as if much thought was put into this method of making up a day. The people pay the bills and the board and administration salary. They sould reconsider this right away. I feel as this is another decision that will come back during the next election to haunt the school board. When will you start thinking of the people and students of this county. You saved a lot of money when the schools where closed. Don't try to fool the people that it is about money. I would not advise you to come up with some splosh anytime soon, because it want pass again. I know of groups that have plans that will lose thousands of dollars that they work hard to apply on trips during this break. What is wrong with spring break. It wasn't considered because of CRCT and Graduation test is what I understand. If the students haven't had a oppertunity to study then that is the admistration fault. This is policy and fall completely on the School Boards back. All parents and votingcitizen should call each board member at home, because they never answer their e-mails.

Brooks Parent
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Not board's idea

This was the super's recommendation and idea. The board just voted on it.

roundabout
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Board's vote?

Can someone tell me why we pay the School Superintendent anywhere from high one hundreds to high three hundreds to have to get a simple what days to have school due to ice, approved by a board?

My Lord if the board is going to mini-manage everything, just hire someone cheap!

anna 922
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Bored Decision

This is a quick and thoughtless idea I have a A student and we made family plans for that week with other people scheduling vacation time around school schedule. It would make more sense to take away the teacher work days that are in the schedule such as the Friday before the winter break and worry about additional storm days as they come. An extra 15 or 20 minutes added to the school day 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon would be a better alternative and less costly we did this in Va one year and it worked out well with all concerned. The Board seemed to want to make a quick decision that screwed everyone up great job

g8trgrl
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anna 922

There are no more teacher work days in the schedule.

normal
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anna

Take your trip and enjoy. Whats done is done and they said it would not be held against anyone for not showing up. Plus the high school is letting kids do work ahead of time for what they may miss. That will be easy. So Park City here we come

anna 922
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Bored Decision

This is a quick and thoughtless idea I have a A student and we made family plans for that week with other people scheduling vacation time around school schedule. It would make more sense to take away the teacher work days that are in the schedule such as the Friday before the winter break and worry about additional storm days as they come. An extra 15 or 20 minutes added to the school day 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon would be a better alternative and less costly we did this in Va one year and it worked out well with all concerned. The Board seemed to want to make a quick decision that screwed everyone up great job

PTCforNow
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Bearden's Rationale

So Bearden's rationale for these 3 make-up days "...is to maximize instructional time...and to meet federal AYP requirements."

So who is he kidding?!! All he wants is for himself and the district to look good on paper! We all know that there won't be any teaching going on. With most kids and teachers gone, it'll be movietime! He does not care that these 3 days will be a waste of resources (time, money, electricity, gas, etc.). I understand waiving absences, but we may as well ALL be absent while Fayette Schools gets their AYP requirements done...wow what an accomplishment, Dr. Bearden, and thanks to the Board for unanimously voting for a stupid idea!

roundabout
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So ther kids will lose two weeks..

...out of the school year for meaningful instruction?

Seems they continue to get poorly schooled due the wants of adults!

GolferD
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I don't understand this

I don't understand this decision. Too many of us have made plans we cannot change without losing a lot of money. Oh well..
Sorry teachers. You will be teaching no more than 50% of your students. Just my guess.

g8trgrl
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Snow day make-up

There are not enough substitute teachers to cover all the teachers that have put in for leave today! That will cost the county thousands of dollars to cover them. Also - high schoolers will not have the 3 days held against them regarding exams. How many high school kids will actually go that week? Very few I am sure.

Person from Brooks
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What are you thinking

Guess someone had plans for the first weekend to include Monday. The is the dumbest idea they could have come up with. It would be better to use the snow days given by the state and worry about other days if they are needed. But then again what makes sense in the school system anyway.....the kids start school on a Thursday and end the year on a Tuesday

jeep2
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Makeup Days extended from 1 to 3 days

Welcome to Fayette County Mr. Bearden. After being told that there would only be one day needed to make up, the school board rescinds that and decides the 3 days will need to be made up; during Feb. vacation and accomodations will be made for students and teachers who have other plans. If the day(s) are to be made up, it should be expected that ALL will be in attendance. The recent weather is unprecedented and moving forward such changes to the schedule should be made. This isnt southern Maine and we dont typically have a winter storm to this degree so it is unlikely that we will need 2 additional snow days. It is much easier to make up one day than 3; especially when that is what is needed.
In the future, I suggest that the 2-3 weeks that the students have now for Christmas be shortened by a few days. The last week of school should be a week earlier to allow for such makeup days if needed.

normal
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Ok this is stupid, Go on vacation as planned

You will be amazed at how many kids and teachers leave that week. It is only 4 weeks away and plans and hotels have been paid. And of course the nonrefundable airline tickets. You all go have fun with your family and trust me the kids will learn more about life on that vacation than they will learn goofing off in school. If you miss all 3 days it is only shown as one absence. Enjoy

fluffybear
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So let me get this straight!

So let me get this straight! We are going to have our kids go to school February 22, 23, 24 (Tuesday through Thursday) and they will be off on Monday, February 21 (A holiday) and Friday, February 25 (Friday)? What moron thought up that schedule? The 2 days off should be together creating a 4 day weekend and allow families to take a short vacation.

trish
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About those 3 make-up days...

THANK YOU for partly summing up what I have been thinking since finding out about this make-up "solution". Why don't we use Monday, Feb.21 plus Tuesday and Wed. so everyone can still have a 4-day weekend? I mean, seriously, if public schools don't bother to observe Veterans' Day, surely we don't need to be off on Presidents' Day either, right? Let me keep going and please, anyone correct me if my facts aren't accurate... It is my understanding that 4 snow days are built into the school calendar. If that is the case, why in the world do students and teachers have to make them up? Isn't the purpose of snow days that if kids miss a few days due to the weather, that will not dramatically affect the teaching of the entire curriculum? If they have to make them up, then why even take the trouble to include them in the calendar? Let them make up the 5th one only. AND, as someone mentioned, since the kids will not be penalized if absent, who on this planet would be motivated to attend 3 days in the middle of the week? If it's ok to make up all the work after Winter Break, then why not let everyone do it then? I personally feel badly for all the teachers who may be left teaching only a small percentage of their students. It's as if the BOE is saying to kids and parents: "We would really like you to come, we hope you come, but if you don't, we understand and we won't hold it against you." I have not met or heard anyone who believes that the missed days should absolutely be made up. Could it be that parents know that the end of the world will not come if we leave Winter Break alone? My family has no plans to leave that week, but if we did, we would be out of here!

Spyglass
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Looks two long weekends to me

instead of 1. No matter the decision, not everyone would have been pleased.

roundabout
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bear

These decisions are made for the benefit of school schedules and teachers---not parents or kids.

fluffybear
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And exactly how is this a

And exactly how is this a benefit to the school schedule and/or teachers? I'm sorry taking a Monday & Tuesday off makes a lot more sense rather then a Monday and Friday.

roundabout
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bear

Only to those who are looking out for themself and not the students learning.

Gene61
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Fayette schools to make up three lost ice days

Knew this was coming..I guess its the best of the options , given no on wants to add additional days since Ga schools go back in Aug, when most other districts still go back after Labor day.

Along with their unanimous vote to approve the three make-up days, the board agreed that accommodations would be made for students and employees unable to alter their winter vacation plans.