At a brief meeting Monday night, the Anson County Board of Education finalized plans for students and staff to make up days lost to snow and ice earlier this year. During his monthly presentation to the board, Superintendent Michael Freeman said that he and the central office staff have “identified a make-up plan that will allow us to make up that lost instructional time.”
A teacher workday on Feb. 17 was already eliminated to make up for days lost in January, and a scheduled early release day for elementary schools on March 6 has also been canceled. There will still be parent-teacher conferences on March 6, Freeman said, but they will operate under a revised schedule. A workday that had been planned for March 28 has been canceled, as well as an early release day on April 11.
“If we do not miss any additional days, we will be fine, and we will not lose any spring break days,” Freeman said. Memorial Day has been put “on hold,” he said, and would be the next holiday to go, if needed.
If Memorial Day is scheduled as a regular school day, Freeman said it may become a special day for students to be able to share projects with their parents, since many adults are off work for the holiday. “We’ll turn whatever the situation is into something beneficial for our students,” he said.
In other business, Freeman reported that there were a few damages to school property during the recent snow and ice storm, including a covered walkway that was damaged at Wadesboro Elementary and Anson New Tech.
Freeman also said he will keep the board updated monthly on the Read to Achieve program. He and his staff are still “reviewing options” for the program, which would require third-graders who do not pass their EOG tests to attend a summer camp for reading. “We will probably give you updates on this every month from now on,” Freeman said.
He also plans to keep the board updated on career status law changes for teachers. A new state law would essentially eliminate protections for teachers, but the North Carolina Association of Educators has filed a lawsuit to prevent the law from going into effect on June 30.
The law also directs school districts to pick the best 25 percent of teachers in classrooms and offer them four-year contracts with pay raises totaling $5,000 in exchange for giving up their tenure rights. “We’re still keeping our fingers crossed for an injunction in April,” Freeman explained. “I’ve been told that if a judge orders an injunction, this will be on a freeze for this year.”
Still, he and his staff are working to identify the top 25 percent of teachers, in case the law does go into effect this summer.
The Anson County Board of Education will next meet in a joint session with the county commissioners on March 18 at 6 p.m. at the Charles Riddle Staff Development Center, Camden Road, Wadesboro.