School districts still discussing making up snow days - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

School districts still discussing making up snow days

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The Superintendent for Jefferson County Schools says it's challenging to make up 6 days of school. Right now the district and many others, including Birmingham and Shelby County are formulating plans.

Dr. Stephen Nowlin says, "I think it's one of those extraordinary situations I hope never happens again."

Educators still pondering on what to do about those lost snow days.

Deputy Superintendent of Student Services Anna Vacca says "It creates some difficult times trying to capture the time back because there's no way to make it work in the school and not lose something."

The Jefferson County School System has thumbed through ideas from shortening spring break, to adding 30 minutes to the school day, and what about class on Saturday? But all thoughts brought concerns. Lack of attendance a big factor.

Dr. Nowlin says, "It can't be something you do at the last minute or when you have so many people with so many plans."

The focus now.. trying to tweak, change and cover the most critical functions so students can advance to the next level.

Dr. Nowlin says, "We felt like what we had to do is try to make accommodations with curriculum as much as we can. change our pacing guides, change the way the standards are covered, which ones are covered."

Neighboring Shelby County schools also looking closely at curriculum making sure teachers cover any missed "state standards."

Educators say it's crucial they focus on the key things students need to know.

All this thought also bringing a new dynamic to the table.

Vacca says, "Very rarely do we see this kind of weather in Alabama, so it's rare but it makes us back up and think, we need to make sure we plan ahead for this."

Dr. Nowlin says the district is looking at revising the school calendar for next year. The changes could make it easier to make up days missed due to weather.

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