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School Districts, Teachers Have To Make Choices On Curriculum Cuts After Weather Closings

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ALABAMA, (WHNT) - Districts all over our viewing area have made the tough call, shut down the buses, and closed schools for weather at some point this year.

But with the governor declaring more than one State of Emergency already in 2014, schools could get forgiven for days missed.

Deputy State Superintendent Sherrill Parris says, "They did have to request to be forgiven.  They only can be forgiven because the governor has declared a State of Emergency for those days."

You can cite all kinds of reasons for keeping kids off the roads and out of school, but what happens to all the material teachers planned to teach the kids?

Parris explains, "It's up to the district, and the district may leave it up to the teacher.  In most cases, the district will give some guidance on that, because generally districts, especially large districts, are really good about developing district-wide, what they refer to as, pacing guides for teachers."

Of course, this kind of thing just happens from time to time.

Parris remembers, "I actually had an opportunity to deal with that a number of times when I was in the classroom."

Efficiency in the classroom can go along way.

Parris says she took "what [she] had intended to teach in Social Studies or Science for that day and incorporate[d] that into the reading or the math lesson or both."

When the buses don't run and the kids don't go to school, it leaves districts and teachers performing a kind of triage - selecting the most important concepts, perhaps skimming some details.


  • Jessie

    well one week off for winter weather and one week of spring break. Seems the smart thing to do would be to count this as spring break and have school that other week

  • John

    I’m gonna be honest, it’s not the end of the world if they just skip some material because I strongly feel that most of the schooling before college is useless anyway. I don’t even remember most of the stuff I “learned” in K-12, I even dropped out of high school, but I went on to get an Engineering degree. I just feel that they spend a lot of time teaching useless material that doesn’t matter, like English Literature in twelfth grade, or Ecoscience, or Geoscience. The point is I can go on and on about all the useless stuff, so parents believe me, it’s not the end of the world if they miss out on a week’s worth of material.

  • Paula

    i agree with you John .. This is small in the grand scheme of 13 yrs of education . I have yet to use the Algebra, Geometry and other stuff FORCED on me and I am doing just fine in life

  • Mrs. W

    I’m a teacher who has enjoyed my couple of days off this week. Most other teachers would say the same. It is a task to cover every inch of our pacing guides efficiently year after year. What is important is that your children are retaining at least half of the material covered. There is a major difference between teaching and just covering material. Covering material only means as a teacher you have introduced a concept to your students. Teaching is introducing a concept and giving the opportunity for students to grasp a good understanding of the concept. When students have a deep understanding and can apply the concept to various situations learning has taken place. So to make a long story short learning and retaining a handful of concepts is more important than covering a boat-load of material where no learning has taken place.

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