Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

March 5, 2014

Snow days vs. spring break

Legislation may allow school districts to have both

GLASGOW — Some area school officials are confident their students will get a spring break, while others are waiting to see what state legislators do regarding a piece of legislation that could provide their school districts some relief if it is adopted by the Kentucky General Assembly.

The legislation is House Bill 410, which calls for the commissioner of education to approve a request from local boards of education to waive a maximum 10 instructional days missed.

Three school districts in particular that are interested in what the Kentucky General Assembly will do regarding the legislation are Barren, Metcalfe and Monroe County.

Chris Huffman, director of pupil personnel for the Metcalfe County school system, anticipates the board of education taking a look at the school calendar at its meeting Tuesday night.

“We are anxious to see what comes with that bill,” he said. “It’s not clear how that will be handed down to school districts, so we are eagerly waiting the outcome of that bill.”

Huffman hopes state legislators will do something soon so plans can be made regarding the district’s school calendar.

Metcalfe County has missed a total of 16 days.

“At this point, before next week’s board meeting, we will have spring break in our calendar,” Huffman said.  

Barren County school officials think, at this point, their students will still get a spring break.

“No decisions have been made final as of yet,” said Bo Matthews, superintendent of Barren County schools. “I’m sure we are going to be looking at it at the next [school board] meeting. If I had to venture a guess, we will probably leave spring break intact, but it is still at the mercy of the board.”

In addition to keeping a close eye on HB 410, Barren County school officials have also put in a request to the Kentucky Department of Education to access accumulative time in the school district’s existing master schedule.

Barren County has missed a total of 15 days and will be closed again Thursday due to slick road conditions.  

As of Wednesday, Monroe County schools had missed a total of 13 days, most of which was due to the weather. Monroe County students returned to class on Thursday, but the days they missed due to the winter storm that passed through the area on Sunday took up their entire spring break and then some.

“We went one day over spring break, so we will have one day to make up,” said Lewis Carter, superintendent of Monroe County schools. “If HB 410 passes, we’ve got an opportunity to have a spring break.”

Carter anticipates the Monroe County Board of Education taking a look at the school calendar at its meeting on March 13 and said it would be nice to know how the legislation will affect the district’s school calendar.

Two area school districts that will likely be able to take spring break on schedule are Glasgow and Caverna Independent School districts.

“I think we are OK. That’s a board decision. We will bring that to the board and they will have to approve it,” said Randy Wilkinson, director of pupil personnel for Glasgow.

Glasgow students have missed a total of four days.

“We can easily tack these on to the end [of the year],” he said.

The Glasgow Board of Education could take a look at the school calendar at its meeting Monday night, but Wilkinson thinks it will wait to see what happens with the legislation.

Caverna school district officials also anticipate taking a spring break.

Students who attend Caverna schools have missed seven to eight days, but the school district had make-up days already built into its school calendar.

“We are going on our regular make-up schedule right now, so we are good,” said Cornelius Faulkner, director of pupil personnel for Caverna schools.

The legislation was posted in the Kentucky House of Representatives’ Education Committee on Feb. 28 and has remained there since.

A phone call to the state legislative research commission Wednesday afternoon revealed that the House Education Committee, which typically meets on Tuesday, did not meet earlier this week, but is scheduled for another meeting on March 11.

Read more in the print or digital Glasgow Daily Times.

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