Albemarle Schools Decide When to Make Up Time as Snow Days Accumulate

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Summer could be coming a little later for students in Albemarle County, and they have winter 2014 to thank for that. The amount of snow days taken has already gone beyond the built-in days for a school year.

Other divisions are in the same boat and, unfortunately, there may be more snow days on the way.

It's difficult to plan a school calendar around snow, especially months in advance. But what's been most unpredictable is the ice and freezing rain this season, which may be why students could be out of school at least one more day this week.

"That's why we have regulations and guidelines on how we're going to make up that time,” said Matthew Haas, assistant superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools.

Albemarle says it has had to use nine inclement weather days even though only two were built into the calendar. That means the last day of school for students will most likely be June 13 instead of June 9.

"We make up the first five days per Virginia Department of Education mandates and then after that you make up every other day,” said Haas.

The state requires 180 days of instructional time. Albemarle thinks tacking the time on to the end of the year is the best solution - staying away from time such as spring break.

"We surveyed the community and asked them for their priorities. One big value in our community is preserving vacation time,” said Haas.

Tuesday marked 13 snow days for Greene and Madison counties. Greene has four days to make up and Madison has two. Fluvanna says it will address a similar issue at its school board meeting next week.

For many counties, another inclement weather day could come Wednesday as ice remains a threat on rural roads.

Surprisingly, Albemarle says it has not surpassed the inclement weather days taken last calendar year: 10. The school board will have the final say about whether to extend the end of the school year to make up those additional days.

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