Harrison County School District Weighs When to Make Up Lost School Days

Contributor: Alyssa Meisner
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Updated: 1/31/2014 6:40 pm
Administrators for the Harrison County School District made the first call Monday afternoon to cancel school, and then kept schools closed when the weather and roads still proved dangerous. Today, the hallways at Harrison Central High School were busy again as students returned to school. A few schools opened yesterday, but most, including Harrison Central, waited until today. Now everyone is wondering how the missed days are going to be made up. News 25 checked in with the Harrison County School District Superintendent. It didn't feel much like a Friday at Crossroads Elementary School, especially after returning from a three day snow break. Sabrina Harris, a teacher at Crossroads Elementary, says, "I treated it somewhat like a Monday. When we come back in, we review everything we had done previously, so missing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when we came in this morning, I reviewed prior to each subject. We would review what we had done on Monday." Like many teachers across south Mississippi, Harris is playing catch up. The winter weather caused a slight detour in her classroom and teaching schedule, but she says it will all work out in the end. Harris also says, "It won't matter as far as my classroom is concerned. My curriculum will stay the same. I will continue to move forward and give 100% like we do every day." While some schools reopened yesterday, Harrison County School District Superintendent, Henry Arledge, decided to wait until today to reopen county schools. The reason behind his decision went beyond the classroom. Arledge says, "When I made the decision, I went all over the county, or almost all over the county, looking at the roads, looking at the bridges, taking into consideration the fact that the next morning it was going to be 17 degrees."

Arledge says Harrison County schools faced more safety hazards than other districts, with its 451 square miles scattered with icy roads and bridges. He felt it would be safer for students to return today as opposed to yesterday. As for those missed days of school, Arledge says he'll recommend adding three days to the end of the school year, but high school seniors will not have to make up those days. Arledge also says, "We've gotten permission from the state department. They don't look at seniors whenever they are looking at the 180 day calendar because of graduations and the graduation set in the Coliseum cannot be changed." Graduation is still right on schedule for the class of 2014. The Harrison County School Board will make the official decision Monday during their board meeting as to where to put the make-up school days. As of today, all holidays will stay the same for the remainder of the year, including Mardi Gras and Spring Break.

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