There may be no such thing as an uncontroversial snow-day call, but shifting a three-day weekend for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students to deal with Friday’s snow and ice is probably as close as it gets.
Superintendent Ann Clark decided Thursday evening to close schools Friday and use Monday’s teacher workday as a makeup.
School leaders across America expect to take flak for decisions on closings and makeup days. The last couple of winters have brought so many closings that CMS and other nearby districts faced makeup schedules that jeopardized spring break. Controversy has also flared when CMS has tagged holidays, including Memorial Day and the Martin Luther King holiday, as makeup options.
Last June, after widespread concern about losing spring break days, the school board revised its calendar policy to grant the superintendent authority to waive up to four makeup days without seeking board approval. That’s possible because the district calendar includes more than the minimum time required by the state.
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Parent and student feedback has been clear that spring break has to be protected!
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Ann Clark
The region woke up to icy roads and snow-covered trees Friday morning, so there was little cause to second-guess the closing. And Clark said Friday that it makes sense to use the scheduled makeup days that come before spring break. In this case, the next one up required only a one-day shift in the long weekend.
“With only one available makeup day after Jan. 25 and before spring break and six to eight weeks of winter weather opportunities ahead of us, I want to make sure I have waiver days available to cover spring break if needed,” Clark said. “Parent and student feedback has been clear that spring break has to be protected!”
Eliminating a student day off on short notice can interfere with family travel plans. But this weekend, Clark noted, the wide sweep of the winter storm, which led to flight cancellations and dangerous roads in many states, made it likely that plans would have to be revised anyway.