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Gwinnett County Public Schools to announce snow makeup plan Monday

SUWANEE — School officials in Gwinnett County have a message for those teachers, students and families waiting to hear the district’s plan for snow makeup days — a decision will be announced Monday.

Some school districts across Georgia may have less than 180 instructional days this school year thanks to a waiver approved Thursday by the state board of education.

Two resolutions were approved after they were recommended by State School Superintendent John Barge to give school districts flexibility. One resolution is to allow school districts to decide whether or not to make up school days when they were closed recently due to inclement weather. The other resolution removes the class size requirements due to continued budget shortfalls for districts.

“Each district has a unique set of challenges with regard to restoring the days missed so we wanted to ensure they had the means to do whatever was best for them,” Barge said in a statement.

Many school districts throughout the state had to close due to inclement weather in late January and mid-February. Gwinnett County Public Schools built three snow makeup days into its calendar, and has already made up one date, but has four remaining days of the seven total it missed, to makeup after the recent storms.

The seven days missed are the most for the district since at least 1990.

But many districts around the state have missed at least eight days or more, especially around metro Atlanta.

GCPS CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said he’s always been inclined to stick with a 180-day instructional school calendar and has admitted he believes that’s not enough days. So he said Thursday he would not recommend a potential 176-day calendar.

“The decision, the plan to get us back on track will certainly be one that holds to our current school year of 180 days,” Wilbanks said. “It will put whatever makeup time at the time that makes the most difference to our students. I think we can do that without having a tremendous difference to our graduation schedules. We certainly understand all the ramifications that go into that and we will try to make sure we do the very best job in what we do to make sure our students have a full year of school and at the same time mitigate any inconveniences.”

There have been creative ways discussed to makeup the time lost, such as adding time, 10 minutes to 30 minutes to each school day, something Marietta City Schools is reportedly implementing.