Schools won't have to make up days

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – Some schools around the state that had to close temporarily because of flooding or last month’s deadly tornadoes won’t have to make up those days, according to state education officials.

A new state law allows districts to be exempt from the 180-school-day minimum when there are extreme weather conditions.

State schools superintendent Tom Burnham tells The Clarion-Ledger that the recent tornadoes and the current flooding occurred around the time students were taking standardized tests and summer break.

He says accommodations have been made for districts whose test schedules were interrupted by the tornadoes or flooding.

Officials said about 20 school districts affected by the flooding along the Mississippi River won’t have to make up the days of instruction missed because of that emergency. A list of those schools was not immediately available.

None of those schools missed more than two days.

Two schools — Smithville School in Monroe County and East Webster High in Webster County — were destroyed by that line of storms.

Some schools were not closed for a full day, but missed instruction time because of weather-related lockdowns.

There is a difference between some districts not planning for the snow days that occurred earlier this year “and something that happened at the end of April and May that you could not plan for,” Burnham said.

Burnham said none of the districts affected by the snow storms missed more than 10 days. The state Department of Education said the first five days missed have to be made up.

Burnham said the state has allowed more flexibility in how districts that missed more than five days recouped instruction time.