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Watauga Schools Still Below Average Snow Days for Academic Year, Spring Break Safe

By Luke Weir

Watauga County students have missed 10 days so far this academic year. The missed days last week will not yet need to be made up, according to a Watauga schools official.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 17 and 18, were two of the ten annual leave days so far this academic year, and Friday was an optional teacher workday with no classes, according to the Watauga County schools calendar.

Watauga County schools had a half-day scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20 to offset last Wednesday’s snow day, but poor road conditions into the weekend also caused Saturday school to be cancelled, according to Garrett Price, Director of Communications for Watauga Schools.

“Our intention with Saturday school is to make a missed day up as quickly as possible when we have inclement weather during the week, but a better forecast for the weekend,” Price said in an email.

Watauga typically sees an average of 15 snow days per academic year, according to Price. Due to the high probability of winter weather, additional teacher workdays and annual leave days are scheduled in May to allow the county flexibility in cancelling school during winter months.

“We schedule more days than we need, that gives us some leeway to cancel classes,” Price said. “It only becomes a problem when we miss tons of days, that’s when we have to get creative with the schedule.”

Ray’s Weather Center said the High Country saw more snowfall than expected last Wednesday, between 3 to 5 inches most places.

Appalachian State University also cancelled classes last Wednesday, as well as classes before 1 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ve come a long way through the winter, but there are still a few weeks left to go that have historically been impacted by inclement weather,” Price said.