School districts plan to make up snow days

Snow day make ups

Some schools are taking another look at their calendars to figure how to make up class time lost during snow storms.

Schools across our region are back in session after missing several days last week for a snow storm. "We have [snow days] built in so we can add up to 20 days during the course of the year, which takes us to really the second week of June. Hopefully we can avoid that," says Smyth County School superintendent Mike Robinson.

Robinson tells us so far they've missed 13 days of school. "We've added on a little bit of time to the end of the school year. We've taken away days from an early long weekend break," he explained.

Robinson tells us first to go is vacation days, then they will add days onto the end of the year. The last resort is adding extra time onto existing school days. "We exceed the minimum requirements the state requires. So if we have to wind up in a situation like that, we have some district extend the day. We've already got that time built in and we've already accounted for that," he said.

Across the state line in Bristol, Tennessee, they've only missed three days; now they aren't having to look at any make up days, but that is hurting some of the bus drivers. "During the summertime it's different, or during spring break. We get to draw unemployment, but when you miss for snow days, you don't get to draw your unemployment. You're just without. You've just lost it," said bus driver Debra Douglas.

Douglas has driven a bus for the school system for 17 years; she tells us for every day they miss due to snow means no pay. "You have to just kind of pick and choose what's most important to pay, and just wait and hope people are willing to work with you to do that," she told us.

Meanwhile, the school districts we spoke with tell us they hope warmer weather moves in soon.

Smyth County Schools Superintendent Mike Robinson says they have a list of the dates they plan to make up snow days on their website -- click here to see the list.

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