MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- Some school systems closed because of the flu last week, others are out for the rest of the week, and every system was out on Tuesday because of the winter weather threat. Depending on the system, those missed days might need to be made up.
“The Code of Alabama says school systems are to provide either 180 days of instruction or 1,080 hours, whichever the system chooses. Each system will be different,” explained Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley. Any deviation from the calendar, like closing for the flu or snow, is submitted at a state level.
Wigley added the goal for each year is to build days in. “Some years we do have enough days built-in, so there are not make-up days. It depends on the calendar for the school year. Some do have to be made up," she said.
Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, so the systems don't have to make that day up, but other systems have been or are out for the flu. Marshall County Schools was out on Monday. Those days do have to be made up if there isn't enough time built into the calendar.
"We either exchange a holiday or we're able to do eLearning and make assignments that students are able to work on at home," Wigley said, of how the system can make up days.
State officials have to approve the method of make-up.
"We do our very best to protect instructional time. We don't want our children to miss class, but we will never make those decisions and put that before student safety," Wigley said.
She's discussing the make-up method for the missed flu day with state officials.
The Marshall County Schools system built-in half days for students to use for recurring appointments this year to cut down on absences. Teachers still use those days for professional development.