Carroll County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Greg Smith said he planned to make his recommendation to the Carroll County School Board on Feb. 9 regarding the best way to make up the maximum number of days possible. Smith said Carroll schools only missed one day during the first 90-day semester, which would not figure into the second semester. Making up the maximum number of missed days in the second semester will be a priority, however.
“You want to have an appropriate number of instructional days so teachers can move through instructional units and students can master the content necessary to satisfy standards of learning,” Smith said.
With three major storms having hit the county since January 1, winter didn’t appear to be finished punishing the region as of press time. Even so, Smith said Carroll is not required to complete 180 days of instruction in a school year. School systems may either complete 180 days of instruction or 990 hours of instruction in a school year. Still, he said the school board wants to get in as many days as possible.
“It is a local decision, but in a traditional sense we want to ensure that the students are receiving the best instructional program possible and consequently we want to make up as many days as we can. We will be making that recommendation to the board at the next school board meeting,” Smith said, noting the school system was in a similar situation last year after missing approximately 15 days because of inclement weather. “If you followed last year’s process, what we did was we took the remaining teacher workdays and converted those into regular school days, and extended the school year to the last Friday in the month of May. The recommendation (this year) will be similar.”
If Carroll schools were to miss an “exorbitant” amount of days the remainder of this school year, Smith said the school system would most likely opt to follow the 990-hours of instruction rather than the 180-day model.
“We exceed the 990 hours of instruction by a significant amount due to the length of our instructional day, so we build up time so to speak,” Smith said.
The last day of school was originally scheduled for May 14. While Smith said he would not make a recommendation until winter is in the rear view mirror, he said he would not recommend the school year ending later than May 28.
“I would recommend to the board, just as we did last year, that we not go beyond the last Friday in the month of May. In the recommendation we made last year, it was that we not exceed the month of May because we have such an early starting date,” Smith said. “This year we started on August 7. Since we have that early starting date in August, I wouldn’t think it would be prudent to go beyond the last Friday in month of May. At that point, we would utilize the 990 hours of instruction to make up whatever time hasn’t been satisfied (if necessary).”