Polk Schools to attend Memorial Day and Easter Monday

Published 10:26 pm Monday, April 7, 2014

With spring break nearing, Polk County School parents may be relieved to know that required snow day make-ups will not occur next week.

Instead, the calendar has been changed to make up snow days on Easter Monday, April 21 and on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26. Students have already made up one required snow make-up day with a teacher workday originally scheduled for Friday, March 7.

The Polk County Board of Education met March 10 and approved the new calendar.

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The original graduation day of Friday, June 6 will not be changed with the new adjustments to the schedule.

Parents were asked through a telephone survey on Feb. 27 asking them to choose between students making up days during spring break or at the end of the school year.

Polk County Schools Superintendent Bill Miller said about 70 percent of parents responded they’d rather see the days made up at the end of the year, while about 30 percent of parents responded they wanted the days to be made up during spring break. It turns out that neither was necessary.

Miller said as much as school officials know going to school on Memorial Day is difficult for parents, changing graduation to the next week would also be difficult.

School systems must conduct testing during the last 10 days of school for younger grades and the last five days of school for high school students. Miller said earlier this year that if seniors had not been able to complete exams before June 9 by tagging on the snow days at the end of the year, then graduation would have been pushed to the next Friday, June 13.

Many have also questioned why the school system didn’t attend school on Saturdays to make up the snow days.

Miller said if students attend school six days in one week it would wreak havoc on payroll, as staff would potentially have to work overtime.

Henderson County Schools pushed its school year to June 13 because students missed eight days this year for snow.

Other mountain counties, which missed more days than Polk, are going 30 minutes extra every day to try to make up time.

With Polk’s new schedule, students had no holidays or teacher workdays during the month of March and also will go the full month of May.

Spring break begins this Friday, April 11 and will continue through Easter Sunday, April 20. Students will now return on Monday, April 21.

The last day of school will be Friday, June 6, when students will only attend a half- day and be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.

Polk’s early college operates on a different schedule than other schools.

While spring break is the same for early college students, their last day will be Wednesday, May 28.

To see the updated calendar for Polk County Schools, visit polkschools.org.