Monday, June 17, 2024
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White County Students Head To School Saturday

The White County School System will do something other generations did more often, attend school Saturday morning for an abbreviated day.

Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said the State Board of Education allows districts three abbreviated days that count as full school days. Dronebarger said when the district’s Calendar Committee realized the final day fell on a Monday, it decided to go ahead and knock it out on Saturday.

“Handing out yearbooks, signing of annuals, just gathering up last-minute things,” Dronebarger said. “And just kind of a send-off celebration. A lot of times, they don’t even go down the hallway to the classrooms. A lot of times they’ll have some celebrations in the gymnasiums and just a last chance to give a hug and a well wish and send them off for their summer.”

Dronebarger said the district used nine of its 11 snow days and decided to use Friday as its second of two Professional Development Days. He said teachers like having a day near the end of the year to gather final grades and plan for next year.

“It’s disappointing, I think to everybody, when we finish a year and still have six or seven of those still in our pocket, because students went to school maybe too long, by law,” Dronebarger said. “And our teachers feel like, you know, they didn’t get a break that maybe they could have used.”

He said the winter weather event in early January was more harsh than normal, so that stretch, coupled with the recent severe weather, ate up nearly all of the snow days the district had stowed. He said students go to school an extra 30 minutes each day to earn the amount of days off they receive.

“I feel good about it,” Dronebarger said. “It’s kind of like paying taxes. You don’t want to give the IRS too much of your money ahead of time and then get a reward at the end.”

He said he remembers years that finished with a handful of snow days unused, so he is glad to be providing students with the breaks they have earned and giving teachers a chance to tie up loose ends as the year concludes.