The Smyrna School Board voted Wednesday night to add two more days to the end of the school year to help address the 10 days missed from snow this year.
The two days are on top of the two inservice days – March 28 and May 2 – that will now be used as school days; students will gain back 26 of the hours lost from snow days. The two full days will be Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 4. The high school students will then have half days on June 5, 6 and 9. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will have half days June 6 through June 9. The last pupil day will be Tuesday, June 10.
The school board previously approved turning the two inservice days into school days at the February board meeting.
The school board approved the motion to add two more days to the end of the year by a vote of 3-1; board member Kristi Lloyd voted against the measure.
Curriculum Director Dr. Sandy Shalk explained the proposal to add two days to the school calendar during the meeting.
“We’ve missed 10 days. That’s a number of hours. We’re still okay with our hours but its close,” Shalk said.
The Smyrna School District has longer days than most other districts; therefore, the students have banked hours. Prior to the snow days, students in kindergarten through eighth grade had 78 hours banked; students in high school had roughly 75 hours banked. The time missed from snow, including days missed and delays, this year equates to 74.5 hours of missed school time.
“I know this has been a difficult year and I know you want to make a good decision for the students,” Shalk said. “If we gain two full days we can be productive.”
Lloyd said her position remained the same as the previous meeting in that she doesn’t agree with adding time to the end of the year.
“We have hours banked. We will have days forgiven so why add two days at the end of the school,” Lloyd said. “Why have hours banked if you’re going to add days to the end of the school year?”
North Smyrna Elementary School second grade teacher Lauren Mercer spoke up against adding two more pupil days at the meeting. Mercer said grades will be due prior to those full days, plus final exams and projects will already be done. Board Vice President Chris Malec suggested the testing and final assignments could be moved back so the two full days could be instructional days.
The school board also discussed how teachers would make up the snow days missed. Shalk said these days would be added to the end of the school year. The district should hear back on the state’s decision to forgive snow days later this week. The number of days forgiven will determine how many snow days teachers will have to make up.
School board candidates
Smyrna School Board candidate Scot McClymont was at the meeting; he will be running against Jody Wilson in the May election.
“I love the Smyrna School District and I definitely think it’s a good way to be involved with the community,” McClymont said when asked why he is running for the lone open seat on the board.
BOE President Jeff Clark is not seeking a fourth term. The open seat is a five-year term.