Georgia schools won't have to make up storm days

Georgia schools won't have to make up storm days

May 6th, 2011 by Adam Crisp in News

Ringgold Middle School was severely damaged after numerous tornadoes touched down throughout the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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The Georgia Board of Education today ruled that Northwest Georgia students, who will miss up to eight days of school in the wake of last week's tornadoes, won't have to make up the classes.

Board members voted unanimously today at an emergency meeting to approve State School Superintendent John Barge's recommendation to grant waiver requests from five school systems.

Dade, Floyd, Meriwether, Spalding, and Walker county schools were granted waivers. The April 27 storms caused the school systems to use up their allotted emergency days.

Ordinarily, school systems have 180 days of instruction per year.

"These schools and communities have been struck by a terrible tragedy," Barge said. "While we cannot replace the lives that were lost or undo the damage that was done, we can provide the flexibility they need to help facilitate rebuilding and recovery."

Catoosa County, which still has not returned students and teachers to the classroom, is still assessing its situation and should submit a request for next Wednesday's state board meeting, said Justin Pauly, a Georgia Department of Education spokesman.

The Tennessee Department of Education granted Hamilton County a similar waiver this week.