DeKalb Schools Make Up Days

The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will make up two of its three inclement weather days on Feb. 16 and March 9. A survey will be presented for options on making up the other two days.

DCSD closed schools for four days this month due to inclement weather – Jan. 8 as well as Jan. 17-19.
In considering its options to recover that lost instructional time, DCSD has committed to keep the current President’s Day, Spring Break, and last day of school as scheduled.
The survey will be administered sometime in the future.
Potential make up day options could include a virtual learning day, the addition of a learning period to the regular school day, among others. DCSD administration wants to remain flexible in case more inclement weather days are needed in the future.

Atlanta Public Schools will add 30 minutes to school day to make up lost time
Atlanta Public Schools will add 30 minutes to school day to make up lost time
APS gathered feedback from parents, principals, students, staff, and the community and issued a survey on the topic, outlining six options for making up the missed days. The most popular option was to extend the school day by 30 minutes.
APS surveyed principals separately and nearly half of them (49%) preferred a 30 minute extension.
Gwinnett County Public Schools’ use of three digital learning days has saved them from using makeup days from the recent snow and ice.
However, the three days missed in September due to Hurricane Irma will have to be made-up using built-in days.
The three makeup days — Feb. 23, March 9 and March 23 will now be changed from student holidays to regular school days. This will put the county back on track to its required 180 days of instruction.
According to Gwinnett County Public Schools Director of Community Relations Bernard Watson, Feb. 9 will remain as a student/teacher holiday and Feb. 19 will still be a student holiday/staff development day.
Clayton County is asking for feedback from parents, teachers and the community about how to make up three instructional days. Options include classes on days originally scheduled as breaks, an hour added on five school days, or school on three Saturdays.
Fulton County will hold classes Feb. 16, originally set as a day off, and had not announced a decision about other makeup days. The district said it was looking into at-home learning options to make up instructional time lost.
Cobb County had not talked about makeup days, a spokesman said earlier, because since its school days are longer than the minimum length of time required, “We’ve got plenty of seat time built in.”
Cherokee County will require children to attend school Feb. 21, 22 and 23 – days previously designated for February Break – to make up three of the four school days missed in January because of weather, officials announced.

The Kittredge Magnet School Principal’s Advisory Council met on January 22, 2018. During the meeting we discussed the impact inclement weather school closures have had on learning objectives. As a result of that discussion, the Kittredge Magnet School Principal’s Advisory Committee would like to request the following:
• all days of lost instructional time be made up. While this may not be a requirement as a State of Emergency was declared, the Principal’s Advisory Council believes that making up the lost instructional time is necessary to allow faculty and students to meet their academic objectives for the semester.
• the lost instructional time is made up via full instructional days and/or digital learning activities to be completed at home. The prior DCSD strategy of extending the school day by 20 minutes was disruptive for faculty, students, and families and provided minimal academic benefit.
• postpone Georgia Milestone testing for one week. This will provide additional time to allow teachers and students to prepare fully.
• prioritize the development of a digital learning framework and plan. This will provide the opportunity for staff to plan ahead for meaningful instruction to continue despite inclement weather events that may result in school closures.
We appreciate your consideration of our suggestions and look forward to collaborating with you to maximize student outcomes for the remainder of the school year.
Hilary Phillips, Chair
Kittredge Magnet School Principal’s Advisory Council

24 responses to “DeKalb Schools Make Up Days

  1. Now, now, we know Jan 8 was not inclement weather but a football game and president visit. The forecast ahead of time absolutely did not warrant cancelling, and you’ll notice they called it earlier than the days where the forecast did warrant it. No one is fooled.
    Any option but adding time to the end of days is acceptable. Digital learning days, forgiving state of emergency days as is allowed, recapturing days off, anything else. The end of the day time is not effective learning time and damaging to schedules and children. It is so clearly about optics at the expense of Dekalb families. If we go that way again, us parents seriously need to increase the pressure to replace Superintendent Green. With this and other things, he is showing the lack of capacity to properly handle a district the size of Dekalb.
    I am also curious why the future year calendars proposed do not reflect the reality we are seeing with changing weather patterns.

  2. I accept your wink and a nod to go along with the Jan 8 inclement weather day. Why do you say the DeKalb Schools 2018 – 2020 Calendars don’t reflect the changing weather patterns?
    I thought using the extra 20 minutes a day for lunch and transitioning between classes was the most effective use of the extended days last semester. The mega schools are struggling.

  3. I guess I don’t understand. Since school started in January, my middle schooler has already lost two days of Language Arts and a day of math to “Map testing.” In this age of over-tested students, simply canceling these ridiculous tests would quickly cover the missed instructional time. Yet it’s not on the table as an option. Don’t you get enough data from the other standardized tests you administer? And honestly, is anything done with the results? I’ve seen nothing but wasted time.

  4. Kate Eastburn

    Nothing was accomplished by the 20 min extension at either of my kids schools. Teachers were frazzled. Middle schoolers at Henderson seemed to be released more like 30 to 35 min later instead of 20. 530 was about the average time most of those kids weee getting home. I agree with the first poster, if the 20 min extension is enforced again to make up 2 days, parents need to put pressure on the admin.

  5. Personally, I would prefer tagging days at the end of May. Reason, most summer camps do not start until the first week of June. I do understand that may create problems for faculty, staff and families who already have planned vacations based on current last day of school. I do not have a problem with the two published make-up days. Is there a possibility for kids who miss school these days to be mark as an excused absence? Many families take a mini-vacation when the kids are out of school.
    The 2o minute extension last fall was a bust depending on your child’s school. I do think the district need to set specific guidelines for the additional time versus leaving it to the discretion of the principal. Many schools did not use the 20 minute extension for classroom instruction.

  6. Adrienne Duncan

    Anything but adding time at the end of the day. At my child’s school it was little more than “dead time” and it completely threw off carpools and other logistics for families. I can’t speak to any other schools than the one I’m a part of.

  7. sent via Facebook
    My thought is the survey is a waste of time as the Superintendent does what he wants anyway.

  8. State of emergency doesn’t require make ups…is that correct? Let them go.

  9. sent via Facebook
    Oh they won’t do that, they didn’t have to add those ridiculous 20 mins to the end of the day last semester but did anyways.

  10. sent via Facebook
    Gwinnett county has the right idea. It’s not 1988. Turn bad weather cancelations into online learning days and those days don’t have to be made up. In the future they probably won’t have make up days in their calendar anymore

  11. Are we making up the days to boost resume’s for officials? Or are we concerned about the kids learning? The 20 minute addition smacked of just being able to say we made it up without providing any benefit. 4 days is substantial and we have February coming up. It is not a great situation to be sure.

  12. Adding to the end of the year really is beating a dead horse. The Milestones are done, the last MAP testing is done, AP testing is done… and the KIDS are done. After that last push, they are fried. The digital learning days will be great once everyone has access to a device, but right now, that just isn’t the case. I think the two days we are adding will give us clear instructional time.

  13. The 20 minutes for middle school students is an absolute nightmare. Kids getting home at 5:45-6:00 (on pretty much every Friday) due to extra traffic since the buses were not even there at dismissal most days with the extension. Then to have an hour of homework on top of that when they are starving and exhausted pushes it over the edge for a happy well rounded student. The cancellation of any extra curricular activity for the student that start at 5, 5:30 or 6:00 (sports/music/tutoring) makes it a complete nightmare for the parents. #no20minextensionDekalb is my mantra. High school students and elementary students I understand why parents didn’t think it was a big deal. For my high school student, it allowed him a study hall for 20 minutes and he got the bulk of homework done. Please lets move forward and utilize a digital learning day with or without Chromebooks since they are still rolling out. Let’s progress with some creativity and allow some new ways of doing things!

  14. Make up the 2 days and then let the 2 days go due to the Governer’s declaration of a state of emergency. Adding time to each day didn’t help anyone and it was just an aggravation. If it is for instruction, extra time doesn’t help enough to make up any time.

  15. The high schools on block schedule legitimately need the time. Adding additional days is better than adding 20 minutes. I am glad for the 2 days back on, and hope for a decent solution for 1-2 more.

  16. I agree. We need the instruction in AP classes before AP exams in early May.

  17. DSW2Contributor

    Today on WABE radio, Rose Scott interviewed Carstarphen about her decision to have APS extend each school day by 30 minutes. The program will be rebroadcast at 9 PM in case you would like to hear what an effective Superintendent sounds like!

  18. Atlanta Public Schools will add 30 minutes to school day to make up lost time
    Atlanta Public Schools will add 30 minutes to school day to make up lost time
    APS gathered feedback from parents, principals, students, staff, and the community and issued a survey on the topic, outlining six options for making up the missed days. The most popular option was to extend the school day by 30 minutes.
    APS surveyed principals separately and nearly half of them (49%) preferred a 30 minute extension.

  19. Jennifer Wright

    And that is why we moved to Gwinnett. We traded a half hour commute for an hour or more, but also traded outrageous property taxes and mediocre schools for a high school in the top 500 nationally. Our digital days worked well last week. Yeah, there were some hiccups and the system went down a few times but we got great communication, everyone got their work done, and options were given for those who couldn’t access a computer or internet.

  20. I echo what DSW2 Contributor said about Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent being able to clearly articulate their plan for making up the snow days. Maybe it’s just good PR, but the feeling is that the options were carefully considered and that survey input from parents and staff was the main factor in making the decision.
    It’s possible that Dr. Green could make a similar case, should he deign to let someone question him. But the DeKalb approach seems to be edicts from on high, that are announced in the local paper before they are announced to staff. So discouraging.

  21. The main thing I would like to know is if the survey is going to be given to EVERYONE? Social media sites and the email that was blasted at 6:30 this morning said a survey would be presented, but the site quotes Dr. Green with ““For the third and fourth day, we will diligently survey a cross section of parents, teachers, principals, teacher organizations, parent-teacher organizations, parent council groups, and school council members to determine the best option for our students and families.”
    If this is the same “cross section” that offered the calendar options then this may not be the best solution. Why won’t everyone get the survey, and more importantly if we do, is it even taken into consideration? I’ve taken a lot of Dekalb surveys both for the local schools and the county at large, and many don’t seem to capture all voices–I often wonder who, if anyone, reads the information or crunches the data? It often seems like the decision is made before the “surveys” are given to save face, and here 2 days were already decided without the say of those who are most affected. Then, those who are most affected don’t get to respond. So, with the push that has been for digital learning for the last 2 years as well as the hype of “digital dreamers” in the schools and local media, we aren’t doing digital learning days why?
    Which leads me to my next point, why was the APS info included? Is this a hint that we’re going to do what was done last semester, at the worst time of year? (like after the March date?) Everyone in my household was able to take that survey by the way, and it seems the also made the data public. That would be nice in Dekalb for a change.

  22. dekalbteacher

    I think the arbitrary need for make-up days in this data-driven environment makes no sense.
    The assumption appears to be that every minute of every school day is focused on instruction. However, many of our students spend “instructional” time taking mandatory surveys and surveys the district chooses to have students take, mandatory tests and tests the district chooses to give. In larger schools, theses things can end up impacting multiple class periods or the whole school day.
    Students may also spend “instructional” time in non-academic activities arranged by schools or even the school district. Therefore, I’d like to see the data indicating that the additional minutes approach that exhausted me and limited what my students received last semester worked before even putting that option on this survey.
    I said this last semester when we lost hurricane days. I think digital and/or Saturday practice test options for students taking AP exams and EOC or Milestone tests makes the most sense, especially now that middle and high school students have access to chrome books.

  23. Gwinnett County here. The virtual leaning days were a blessing. 90% of my students logged in to my eClass page and did the assignment. There were a few complaints and hiccups but do not have to make up the days. Also, Walton County Schools has been using iPads and Chromebooks for years with great success. BTW I dedicated 24 years to teaching some amazing students in DeKalb County Schools.

  24. Clayton County actually published their survey results regarding make up days. They’ve also taken the step to push back GA Milestone EOG testing for grades 3-8 by two weeks. The GA DOE testing window is 4/9-5/18- is DCSD discussing doing the same? DCSD has the window of 4/10-4/25 for GA Milestones EOG testing, grades 3-8.