School Make-Up Days

DeKalb Schools was closed for 4 days. What is the plan to make that time up?

State Law
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.
SWSS Waivers
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.

Superintendent Stephen Green

Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District

Nothing has been officially decided yet, but here are some options the administration is considering:
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

113 responses to “School Make-Up Days

  1. Different times now a days though. No security guards in the elementary schools. Doors are wide open to our main hallway….

  2. Betsy, makeup days in February do little for those high school students on block schedules. They will be taking entirely different academic classes in February. The district needs to be cognizant of the fact that the high school students on block schedule lost 4 days of academic learning for THIS semesters classes. If the makeup days are scheduled for next semester, those students are not “making up” the lessons taught in the first semester.
    When I was a student in DCSD, albiet many ages ago, the district utilized Saturdays as makeup days. And before parents start complaining their little ones have extra-curriculars on Saturday, so did we. Academics always comes first – or at least it should.

  3. You can talk to Superintendent Green and or senior administration this evening. “On The Scene with Dr. Green” is 7 p.m., at Cedar Grove High School. Talk to them one on one before and/or after the meeting/presentation.

  4. Speaking of block, Stan, were you able to find out how many high schools are on block and what 4 days the district spokesperson claimed in the Ajc were already set aside for inclement weather?

  5. Block Schedule – I had always heard that most schools had gone back to a regular schedule. Between meetings on Tuesday I went to a table of senior administrators and asked how many schools were on the block schedule. One of them said just a few and another said most of the high schools. Nobody seems to know.
    4 inclement weather days – I asked Green and he never got back to me. I don’t think there are 4 identified days. If there were, Green would have replied to me and they would have announced a long time ago those would be the days. On Tuesday they were still trying to decide what to do.

  6. I believe the high schools that are “non-block” are.
    Arabia Mountain
    ML King
    DSA is on a modified block schedule, I believe.
    When I was a parent, the district (at least as Dunwoody HS was concerned) was traditionally resistant to high schools converting from block to a traditional 7 period schedule or even a modified block. Parents at DHS were overwhelmingly supportive of reverting from the 4×4 block schedule but met resistance at the Central Office level and at the then-Principal level.

  7. Orangekook@yahoo

    Stan, thank you so much for updates. Still watching and waiting for any decision regarding Fall Break ? I am trying to honor both my commitments made and our students need to be at school, but the longer this continues, the more challenging

  8. Stan, thank you so much for updates. Still watching and waiting for any decision regarding Fall Break ? I am trying to honor both my commitments made and our students need to be at school, but the longer this continues, the more challenging

  9. OK, just saw the plan- 20 minutes added to every day from Oct. 2 – Dec. 20. This puts MS dismissal at 4:15 at the earliest. Prepare for a lot of extra teacher absences and student early dismissals. Our class time isn’t that precious…or looking at it another way, schools on a 7 period day are adding about 3 minutes per period.
    Better than Saturdays, better than burning the scheduled October holidays, saves spring days for a possible winter fiasco.
    School will also be in session Nov. 7, election day.
    In the end, more of a burden than a benefit.

  10. Well, am extra 5 minutes in a block class, 3ish in a traditional class. I don’t see a lot of extra learning really happening, but it could be worse I guess.

  11. Thanks for the heads up!

  12. And for teachers who sponsor after school activities, will they hang around until 6? Not a great idea.

  13. Such a bad idea. This screws up 3 months for all families in the county. They should consider Election Day, maybe one cyber/remote day over the Thanksgiving break (basically give kids an extra lesson to do over the break) and forgive the other two days.
    Parents already have transportation, after school activities (including private tutors, jobs plus school activities), middle school buses on the road after 5pm, etc.