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Local students will get one day of spring break

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By Geoff Hamill

They’ve had their break, now the students of Washington County will have to do some extra time in the classroom.

Following the 10 days missed for the ice and snow storm that left much of the county without power for several days, students are now set to attend school on four of the days that were previously slated to be spring break days.

The Washington County School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to have classes in session Monday, March 30 through Thursday, April 2. The only day that will be used as a spring break day now will be Friday, April 3, according to Chad Willis, director of pupil personnel for Washington County Schools.

“The end of the year for students will be Thursday, May 28, and the closing day for teachers will be Friday, May 29, and we will have graduation that night,” Willis said.

Despite losing spring break days, schools will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day, according to Willis.

With most of spring break being used as makeup days, Willis said he doesn’t anticipate any problems with attendance. In fact, he referenced a survey of parents that indicated attendance should be excellent.

“We sent home a survey with every student in the school system to get comments from parents on how they would like to see us handle the makeup days, and the leading vote getter of all the options was for us to have classes all five days that we scheduled for spring break,” he said. “I don’t foresee it to be a huge problem. There may be some who go on vacation, but with the economy, people might be staying closer to home.”

Willis said approximately 750 surveys were returned by students, and considering that some families have more than one child, he felt that was a good response.

School districts across the state continue to await news on “disaster days” that might be granted from the state legislature. Rep. Mike Cherry, (D-Princeton) filed legislation seeking 10 emergency days for students in the 92 Kentucky counties declared a state of emergency after being hit by the ice storm.

Willis said students are required to receive 1,062 hours of education time each year, which equals 177 days. With the days being made up by attending classes on Presidents’ Day, as well as the makeup days over spring break, Washington County will achieve those hours. Willis said the school system’s schedule features two built in or “banked days” that make the system reach the required class time.

“We don’t know what we’re going to hear, or when we will hear anything on the disaster days,” Willis said. “It’s just good that we’re getting out before June. That way teachers can go ahead and enroll in summer classes they need if they are working on their master’s degree. Most of those classes start the first of June at the universities. Also, a lot of our students will be attending baseball camps and other activities, so it’s a good thing for us.”

St. Dominic School has voted to follow the same makeup plan adopted by the Washington County School System, according to a school spokesperson.

With that plan in place, the final day for St. Dominic students will be Monday, June 1.