By Jesse Wood
Feb. 27, 2015. Let’s hope the students at Watauga County Schools and Avery County Schools enjoyed the past two weeks off from school because their upcoming spring break won’t be that long of a break.
Public schools in Avery County have been closed 10 straight days dating back to Monday, Feb. 16, while students in Watauga County only went to one day of school – Monday, Feb. 23 – in the past two weeks.
Watauga County Schools Supt. Scott Elliott announced during a meeting with the Watauga County Board of Commissioners that the first two days of spring break – March 30 and 31 – are now regular school days.
In Avery County, Libby Wise, an administrative assistant at Avery County Schools, noted that, as it stands today, the students will have to go to school two of those five days during spring break.
“The time that we added to school days from the beginning of the year has helped save some spring break, and we will do all we can to preserve three days of spring break,” Wise said in an email. “We are continuing with the extra 20 minutes per day. We hope this will take care of any days we might miss in March.”
At the beginning of the year, administrators with Avery County Schools decided to tack on 20 minutes per day to the regular school days in order to cushion the unforeseeable amount of snow days that occur throughout the winter.
Wise noted that 20 days have been missed in Avery County so far this year and that 27 hours have been missed for delays and early dismissals.
As it stands now, the last day of school is June 12 in Avery County. June 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are all now school days instead of workdays. In addition, April 8, 9 and 10 are now student days.
Across the county line in Watauga, 17 days have been missed so far this school year, according to WCS spokesman Marshall Ashcraft. The last day of the school year, for now, is June 12, he said.