By Jesse Wood
Jan. 23, 2014. Both Watauga County Schools and Avery County Schools cancelled classes for another day this week on Thursday.
Like the week of the “polar vortex” in early January, this school week has practically been shot with three days missed so far for both counties because of weather. The nicest day of the week was Monday, which happened to be a day off for students because of the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Because of all the missed days, Watauga County Schools have already initiated Saturday school, which will happen on Saturday, Jan. 25 if Friday school occurs, and Avery County Schools Supt. David Burleson mentioned earlier this month that the school system would add 30 minutes of school to Monday through Thursday school days to make up for lost time due to inclement weather.
Watauga County Schools has missed eight days of school this year, but because one day was made up on a Saturday earlier this month, WCS spokesman Marshall Ashcraft said, “We’re looking at a net count of seven days missed so far. If we’re able to go this Saturday, the count will drop to a net of six days missed.”
Avery County Schools have also missed eight school days.
Both school systems are entertaining options earlier than in years past because of concerns of extending the school year into the summer if schools continue to be closed. Ashcraft mentioned that Watauga County Schools started the 2013-14 year “10 days earlier” than in the past. Start-and-end dates are set by the N.C. General Assembly and little leeway is given to the local school systems.