By Jesse Wood
March 26, 2013. Watauga County Schools Superintendent David Kafitz penned a letter today letting students and parents know that spring break will be cut early because of the recent snow days.
In the letter, Kafitz, who acknowledged the inconvenience to prior plans, explains that Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, have been changed into regular school days instead of the final two days of spring break. Spring break was initially planned for April 1 to 5 but is now three days long.
“If your child is unable to attend school on these dates due to prior plans, please be sure that a note explaining your situation is sent to the school before spring break if possible, or on the day after spring break if not. Schools will be able to use additional discretion in granting excused absences due to prior plans on these dates,” Kafitz wrote.
According to a recent release from school spokesman Marshall Ashcraft, ” Schools in WCS have been closed a total of 18 days this year for snow and ice and most of those days will be made up by extending the school year, with the last day of school being set for June 11 as of March 26. The last day for students could be pushed back again in the event of additional school closings for winter weather.”
According to WCS historical data, students have missed 18 days or more of school nine times since 1976-77 school year, when snow-day data was first compiled. The record amount of days missed was 39 in 1977-78, and the least amount of days missed was four in 1990-91.
The letter is posted on the website of Watauga County Schools – http://wataugasd.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/909661/File/WCS%20News/April%204th%20&%205th%20letter.pdf?sessionid=85afeec627ad56a71fa89184992104c3
Here’s recent release from WCS explaining the shortened spring break:
As winter weather and school closings continue deep into March, Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, have been changed to regular school days instead of being part of spring break as originally planned. The remaining dates for spring break are April 1-3 and these dates will not change.
Superintendent Dr. David Kafitz noted that the decision to shorten spring break was made reluctantly but that it was the best available option for meeting state school calendar requirements and that the possibility of this change is part of the makeup plan that has been in place for the current school year.
Principals will have additional discretion in granting excused absences for students who are absent on April 4-5 due to prior commitments. Parents will still need to send a note explaining the reasons a student is not present on these dates.
The changes to the school calendar are being communicated to parents by the school system’s automated phone messaging system, by letters being sent home with students, by e-mail notification for parents who have activated that service, through the school calendar information posted on the WCS website, and by notification to local news media.
Schools in WCS have been closed a total of 18 days this year for snow and ice and most of those days will be made up by extending the school year, with the last day of school being set for June 11 as of March 26. The last day for students could be pushed back again in the event of additional school closings for winter weather.