DeKalb Schools was closed for 4 days. What is the plan to make that time up?
OCGA § 20-2-168 says the school year shall be no less than 180 days of instruction. It goes on to say that local school districts may, without the authorization from the state, elect not to complete up to 4 days if a school was closed for an emergency or natural disaster.
State BOE Rules
SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02 says that a school year will be a minimum of 180 school days or its equivalent.
Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS) systems receive flexibility in the form of waivers of certain state laws, rules and guidelines. Waived laws include maximum class size, salary schedule requirements and how much money is spent in the classroom.
In theory, it was supposed to be an exchange for accountability for student performance. For the first couple years, consequences for not meeting the SWSS contract meant a loss of governance, so nobody chose to be an SWSS.
More recently, SWSS consequences were modified such that if a SWSS school district didn’t meet student performance goals, all a school district had to do was put together a “School Improvement Plan”. Once that change was made, school districts across the state got on board.
Dekalb Schools now has permanent waivers and effectively no accountability.
OCGA § 20-2-168 & SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02
SWSS systems also have waivers for OCGA § 20-2-168 & SBOE rule 160-5-1-.02. Therefore, an SWSS is not required to have a minimum of 180 days of instruction. Garry W. McGiboney, Georgia DOE Deputy Superintendent of Policy and External Affairs, reminds us, “the decision to make-up school days missed for any reason is at the discretion of the superintendent and local boards of education.”
DeKalb Schools 2017-2018 Calendar
Aug 7, 2017 – First Day of School
Oct 5 – 9, 2017 – Fall Break
Dec 21, 2017 – Jan 2, 2018 – Winter Break
Feb 16 – 19, 2018 – Feb Break
Options – Make Up Days
The way I see it, we legally have the following options:
- Use the 1 designated inclement weather day in February
- Tack on days at the end of the school year
- Capture days from the breaks like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, etc…
- Go to school on teacher workdays
- Go to school on a few Saturdays
- Make the school day longer
- Do nothing, keep same schedule and the school year would be 176 days.
Dr. Green and the Administration
My perception is that Dr. Green and his administration take academic achievement seriously. I don’t anticipate Dr. Green letting those 4 days go. I asked Dr. Green what his thoughts were about make up days.
Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District
Option 1: Use the (1) built-in day
• February 16 (Inclement Weather Day)
Option 2: Use the (3) students out days as “captured” days
• October 5, October 6 (Fall Break)[Columbus Day Weekend]
• March 9 (Teacher Workday/Professional Development)
***Options 1 and 2 provide a total of (4) days to utilize.
Option 3: Extend the instructional day with additional minutes