Last Modified: Sunday, February 02, 2014 2:48 PM
Over the past couple of weeks, Calcasieu Parish students have been out of school for three inclement weather days and one holiday. A teacher in-service day is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3, so students will have another day not in school — making for a total of five days off in two weeks.
Kirby Smith, school system spokesperson, said the district calendar accounts for inclement weather days by including additional instructional time in each school day. “For the 2013-14 school year, there are nine built-in days, which means the students will not have to make up the snow days from the last two weeks,” she said in an email.
Smith said the district began including the additional instructional time in the school day in 2005 after Hurricane Rita.
Pat Schooler, principal at J.I. Watson Middle School in Iowa, said her staff and students bounced right back into their normal routine when they returned to school last Thursday.
“We just came and had a regular day, and everything was back to normal,” Schooler said. “Our teachers were not stressed at all. Teachers are flexible; students are flexible. We just returned and got back on track.”
Schooler said that since there’s daily built-in extra instruction time, and because holidays and in-service days are already on the calendar, her staff’s lesson plans won’t be affected.
Schooler also said she doesn’t believe any of the missed days will affect student performance on LEAP tests, which are scheduled for mid-April.
“We teach on a daily basis, and we prepare,” Schooler said. “We don’t teach for the test; we teach for knowledge. So I don’t think that it’s going to hurt our students one way or another.”