Chatham County Schools: No makeup days for schools closed after power outages

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 2/14/20

The Chatham County Board of Education decided Monday that the four schools closed related to last week’s bad weather would not need to make up those missed days. Bonlee School, Bennett School, J.S. Waters School and Chatham Central High School each dismissed students early on Friday after power outages occurred on campuses. Superintendent Derrick Jordan said Monday some students were still in the carline when the announcement was made. The day was then designated as an optional teacher workday.

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Chatham County Schools: No makeup days for schools closed after power outages

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Posted

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education decided Monday that the four schools closed related to last week’s bad weather would not need to make up those missed days.

Bonlee School, Bennett School, J.S. Waters School and Chatham Central High School each dismissed students early on Friday after power outages occurred on campuses. Superintendent Derrick Jordan said Monday some students were still in the carline when the announcement was made. The day was then designated as an optional teacher workday.

“Things happened pretty quickly,” Jordan said.

School districts like Chatham regularly “bank” days in their calendars to avoid needing to have makeup days.

2020-2021 calendar draft presented

District staff also presented a draft for the 2020-2021 school year calendar during Monday’s meeting.

The proposed calendar meets all state requirements and includes three early-release days designed to leave time for professional development. The first day is slated for Aug. 24, with Christmas break starting with a half day on Dec. 18. School resumes Jan. 4, with Spring Break scheduled for April 5-9 and the last day of classes set to be June 9. A final vote on the calendar is scheduled for the board’s March meeting,

During the presentation, Janice Frazier, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources, said the district’s calendar committee brought up the possibility of “unpairing” Spring Break from the Easter holiday.

“There were a few comments there, both in the stakeholder survey as well as the committee, questioning the ‘why’ behind that,” Frazier said.

Any change in that would not happen until next year. School districts have the freedom to schedule their Spring Break at their discretion.

Grandfathering letters sent to Horton Middle students

The school board had already determined grandfathering rules for students at Pittsboro Elementary School and Horton Middle School in relation to the Mount Gilead Church Road area and the new Chatham Grove Elementary School.

The district will now, by vote of the board, send letters to Horton Middle School rising 8th-graders giving parents instruction on how to apply for grandfathering. Horton Middle students were originally redistricted to Margaret B. Pollard Middle School, but this option will allow parents to keep their 8th-graders at Horton Middle.

“Every effort has been made to establish new attendance zones and modify existing attendance zones with longevity in mind,” the letter states. “However, it is important to understand that the nature of student assignments combined with the growth that is already occurring and the potential for additional growth in the northeast part of the county could necessitate changes in the near or distant future.”

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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