Oak Ridge Schools could make up two snow days by having students attend school for a full day, rather than being dismissed early, on four Wednesdays in March and April, officials said. That plan hinges on state approval of a three-day waiver that Tennessee school systems can request because a state of emergency that was declared during the winter weather in the second half of February.
Tracey Beckendorf-Edou, superintendent of teaching and learning, said Oak Ridge Schools used eight snow days this year. She said that’s the most anyone can remember the school system using. Students didn’t go to school at all on those days.
Oak Ridge had three snow days built into its schedule. Without a waiver, that would leave five snow days that have to be made up. But if Oak Ridge receives a three-day waiver from the state, that would leave a two-day deficit.
The four full Wednesdays that would be used to make up the two snow days could be scheduled for March 25 and April 1, 8, and 15, Beckendorf-Edou told the Oak Ridge Board of Education during a Monday evening meeting.
Willow Brook Elementary School and the Preschool would only have to make up one day if the school system receives the three-day waiver from the state, and the proposed dates for the full Wednesdays accounts for that, avoiding transportation issues and other complications, Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said.
Beckendorf-Edou said officials could find out soon if the school system will get the waiver.
BOE member Angi Agle said Oak Ridge rarely uses more than three snow days per year.
“Most years, we don’t use all three,” she said.
But this year, East Tennessee had at least five winter storms in two weeks. They brought a mix of snow and icy precipitation, creating hazardous driving conditions and leading to school closures for as long as two weeks.
More information will be added as it becomes available.