Weather issues won’t complicate school calendar yet

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School board meeting postponed

By Damon Lawrence

With roads still covered in ice and blocked by fallen trees, Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said the decision on Wednesday to cancel school for the rest of the week was an easy one.

“South of the River, we still got a lot of roads blocked with trees,” he said. “My road is bad. I had to use four-wheel drive to get out this morning, so it’s just not safe.”

The school system has 11 snow days built into its calendar, so the days missed this week will not have to be made up. Students were scheduled to be out of school on Monday, Feb. 16, for Presidents’ Day, so only four snow days will be used this week.

“We had 10 at the start of the week,” Aytes said. “We’ve used four, so we’ll have six days left.”

Students attend school seven hours per day — 30 minutes longer than what’s required — in order to build in the bad weather days.

It’s something the system does each year for situations like the one that’s occurred this week.

“We never really used many until last year and this year, but it’s good to have them,” Aytes said. “I was in Virginia last weekend for my grandson’s birthday. Up in that area I think there was some school systems already going to June 29, and even talking about going on Saturdays.”

The Roane County Board of Education was scheduled to meet in regular session on Thursday, but that meeting was postponed.

Agenda items include approval of the 2015-16 school calendar and a request for a temporary hiring freeze for that year.

A makeup date for the meeting had not been set by press time.