Kingsport Times News Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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School systems in region eye dwindling balance of snow days

February 1st, 2014 8:01 pm by Rick Wagner

School systems in region eye dwindling balance of snow days

Sevier Middle students walk home after Kingsport schools dismissed early Tuesday. City schools have used two of four banked snow days.

ROGERSVILLE — Students through the Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia got snow days this past week, even in Kingsport and other city systems that usually don’t get out that much for weather.

But those “free” vacation days, called because of poor road conditions and bitter cold that normally stays well north of here, can come at a cost down the road in the school year since school systems have to have a minimum number of school days a year, 180 or the equivalent in the case of Tennessee.

In Hawkins County, Assistant Director of Schools Steve Starnes said Hawkins County has missed eight snow days of 10 so far, meaning it has two left before it has to start converting other non-student days into regular school days — with permission of the commissioner of education in Nashville.

“We missed four days this (past) week,” Starnes said Friday. The system has missed eight regular days so far this school year plus took the staff development day Jan. 3 to make up for a snow day. Another way of looking at the situation is the system has used nine of 11 available days so far.

Another development day is on the calendar in March that could be converted.

The Hawkins County Board of Education this week will consider options and recommendations from the central office for how to make up lost time.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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