Eureka students head to school on Saturdays to make up snow days

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

EUREKA SPRINGS -- Students, staff and teachers in Eureka Springs schools will spend three Saturdays in school to make up for days lost due to bad weather, it was decided at a special school board meeting last Thursday.

Eureka Springs students have missed 12 days of school so far this year, said Superintendent David Kellogg. Five snow days are built into the calendar, leaving seven to make up. One day was made up Jan. 20, when students attended school on Martin Luther King Day.

Pat Todd, chairman of the Classified Personnel Policy Committee, said his group and the Certified PPC, in consultation with Kellogg and feedback from staff and teachers, agreed to have school on Feb. 1, Feb. 22 and March 15.

Kellogg said everyone wanted to avoid using spring break to make up the days. They also wanted not to wait until after spring break to have students come for Saturday makeup days.

"After spring break, you have back-to-back testing," he said. "It's hard to have students come to school for six days and then come in on Monday and test. You can't expect them to do well."

Kellogg said the state allows school districts to apply for a waiver for any days missed beyond 10 in the school year.

"So we're eligible for two," he said.

With Martin Luther King Day, the three Saturdays, the two waivers (if approved) and adding one day, June 2, to the calendar year, the 12 days will be made up, and school will end on June 3, Kellogg said.

That's if there is no more bad weather. Board members noted that long-range weather predictions are for ice and snow on all three of the proposed Saturdays.

"That can change," said board president Jason Morris.

The board approved the Saturdays and changed the quarter dates for third quarter to end on March 21, and, after spring break, March 24-28, for fourth quarter to begin on March 31.

In other business, the board returned from executive session and voted to accept the resignation of high school paraprofessional Kim Rozell and approve the hire of Meghan Wolfinbarger as school nurse. Kellogg noted the familial relationship to board member Gayla Wolfinbarger is distant enough not to present a conflict of interest.

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