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December 12, 2013

Duncan students set on inclement weather time

DUNCAN — So far, Duncan students won’t have to make up any school days missed because of inclement weather.

For several years, the Duncan School District has based its calendar on an hourly schedule instead of a set number of days. This means the school district has to have 1,080 hours of instructional time, as opposed to make sure students are in class 175 days each school year.

“We go more than 1,080 hours,” Labyer said. “As long as we have 1,080 hours, the schools don’t have to make those days up.”

In fact, all schools in Stephens County use the hourly schedule for create their school calendars instead of basing their calendars on a set number of days.

Duncan school dismissed about an hour early Thursday because of the onset of freezing rain. Classes were canceled Friday because of icy roads and snowfall. Monday and Tuesday, roads remained icy, leading to classes being canceled those days.

Labyer said Duncan Public Schools still have at least two days of school that can be missed as a result of inclement weather. If the school district misses more than two days, then students will have to start making up time.

She said the school district has put inclement weather days into the school calendar, but that changed this year. With those days built in, students would get days off in the spring semester if school days weren’t missed because of bad weather during winter.

On the hourly schedule, schools have more flexibility, Labyer said.

“It takes the guess work out of are we going to use that inclement weather day,” she said.

Labyer did express concern for several reasons. She said the cushion supplied by the 1,080 hour schedule is beneficial to school districts. But she does have concern about what students might miss in the classroom as a result of inclement weather.

“The concern I have is for the loss of instruction time,” Labyer said. “It can’t be helped.”

She’s also concerned about using inclement weather time so early into the season. Labyer said there’s no telling what winter may bring, and there is a possibility more days could be missed.

“We still have almost all of winter to go,” Labyer said.

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