School districts search for ways to make up days lost to ice and snow

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TENNESSEE VALLEY, Ala. (WHNT) - It is a question many parents, students, and even teachers have been frequently asking, and for some schools systems, it's a tough question to answer. Winter weather caused schools across the Tennessee Valley to close for several days, and parents of high school seniors are concerned that making up the days could push graduation back.

Which leads to the million dollar question: Will students have to make up these days?

Some systems like Athens City Schools are using a professional development day (March 13), a holiday (April 3), and Employee Workday (May 22) to make up the days missed for winter weather.  Although students have school on May 22, graduation is still set for May 21.

Madison City Schools are still trying to decide what to do about the weather makeup days.  However, the school system says the graduation date will remain the same.

For many schools making the decision to make up these days depends on the State Department.  Since Governor Bentley issued a state of emergency during some of the days schools were closed, it means schools might not be required to make up some days.

The easiest way to explain it: The State of Emergency serves as an excuse of absences for many schools. If school systems turn in their excuse of absence then most of them will not be penalized for the days the schools closed.

The Huntsville City School System is already planning ahead to make sure they don't run into the same problem next year.  School board members are considering adding four snow days into next year's calendar.

School leaders say this can be done without altering any of the holidays that are already approved for next year. Part of the proposal would fill the gap at the end of the year between classes ending and graduation. They will only have school those four days if they have weather cancellations during the school year.