Cocke County students lose part of spring break due to snow days

Courtesy of AP Graphics

NEWPORT (WATE) – Lots of schools are struggling with how to make up for all the snow days they’ve had to take so far this year. In Cocke County, schools started out with five days built into the calendar to use for snow days, but they’ve used nine. Presidents’ Day was intended to be a make-up for students but because of the weather, it turned into another snow day.

The sign at Edgemont Elementary School reads, ‘Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, no no no.’ It’s hard not to agree with it.

“It’s been pretty rough considering he’s handicapped in a wheelchair. The cold weather seems to really take to him a lot,” said mom Cortnee Ballard.

Kids in Cocke County, like Ballard’s son, have been missing a lot of school. To make up for all the snow days, kids are now losing part of their spring break from March 29 through April 1.

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“Our students and our teachers will still get Good Friday and that Monday as a long weekend,” said Amanda Waits with Cocke County Schools.

Ballard and her son Adam were planning a family trip to Indiana. “It’s going to be devastating because they’re really wanting to see him,” she said.

If there is more winter weather in the forecast, the school system may make the school year longer.

“We also have the option of adding an additional 15 minutes to the school day to build in a few,” said Waits.

Things aren’t as bad in that last year when there were a total of 17 snow days. Building more snow days into the calendar is a consideration.

“It’s something we looked at last year and we were going to look at this year. Moving forward, there’s a lot of different people that effects,” said Waits.

School leaders have to decide whether to add 15 minutes to the beginning or end of the day, then factor in the snow days already allotted. They also add travel time for students, as well as bus scheduling. Finally, the school’s budget is also considered.

In the meantime, Cocke County Schools officials are hoping for no more missed days but some parents just aren’t convinced.

“They say it’s going to be an early spring which I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it at all because I guarantee we’ll have more snow before it’s over with,” said Ballard.

The school system says there’s no final calendar just yet and it’s because it depends on what happens with the weather. They’ll continue to alert parents when something changes.

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