State board votes to give school district options on making up - CBS46 News

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State board votes to give school district options on making up missed days

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Following the recent winter weather, Georgia's Board of Education voted on Thursday to waive the rule that requires students to have 180 days of instruction.

"Basically, what they were voting on was to make sure that districts knew they had the flexibility to make the best decision for their district based on their needs and for their students," said State School Superintendent John Barge.

Barge said the board of education voted to give districts an additional week to administer CRCT standardized tests and end of year testing.

"We've opened that window up an additional week of time so that districts have the time," said Barge. "If they want to add days to their calendar, they can get that instruction in before students take the test."

There is debate over whether students should make up missed school days and the best way to do so.

"Me, personally, I like the idea of adding minutes to the day just because we have plans for spring break," said Dawn Piercy, who has a second-grader in DeKalb County. "I would prefer end of the day extra minutes."

Districts can add extra minutes, cut spring break days or add days at the end of the school year.

DeKalb County called an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss their options.

The Fulton County School Board will meet Thursday night and will discuss their options, but it's unsure if a vote will be taken.

Clayton County will also meet Friday to discuss what they will do.

Other districts are also weighing out their next move.

"I think they're in a very tough place, so I think they're all going to have to make their own decisions based on what is best for them and their students," said Tim Callahan, spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). "Our hope is that they'll put students' learning and students first and everything else behind that."

Barge said it is not unusual for the state to waive the 180-day requirement. He said in the past, the state has loosened the standards after events including tornadoes, floods and wildfires.

Should they make up the missed days and if so, how? Take our poll inside this story.

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  • How do you think your school system should handle the shortfall?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Extend the school year
    18%
    56 votes
    Extend the school day by 1 or 2 hours
    11%
    32 votes
    Cut into Spring Break
    8%
    25 votes
    Ignore the lost time
    63%
    189 votes
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