FLORA — Recovering from missed instructional time and finding ways to make up snow days caused by the heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures has been on many local superintendents’ minds.
The make-up plan for missed days at Carroll Consolidated School Corp. appears a little different than other make-up plans. Students in the district have experienced three-hour delays as well as having school on Saturday.
The first day of Saturday school on Feb. 8 went ok, Chris Lagoni, the district’s superintendent, said at a school board meeting Tuesday evening. Only 22 to 27 students had unexcused absences at each building, which isn’t any more than a normal school day, Lagoni said.
Lagoni said a few parents actually called and have had positive thoughts.
The make-up plan, as it stands now, is listed on the Carroll school page. Students will have another Saturday make-up day March 1.
Principals at each school talked about the make-up plans at the board meeting.
Amanda Skinner, principal at Carroll Elementary School, talked about how flexible teachers have been with both Saturday school and three-hour delays. There has only been positive feedback, Skinner said.
“Winter is weighing on everyone but students and teachers are staying positive,” Skinner said.
Three-hour delays, instead of the usual two-hour delays, have been implemented as a way to have school on days where the weather calls for a delay instead of cancelling school completely.
After surveying staff members, 85 percent had positive things to say about the decision to have three-hour delays when needed. The other 15 percent mostly gave suggestions on what could make it better, Lagoni said.
On Saturdays, school begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4:09 p.m. at the Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School and students arrive at the Carroll Elementary at 10:48 a.m. and are dismissed at 4 p.m.
Communication and work with the county highway department has made it possible, Lagoni said.
Since starting the three-hour delay, Lagoni said he has been contacted by 10 other school corporation and asked how they made it possible.
“This has been a hard winter on drivers and equipment and we can’t thank everyone enough,” Lagoni added.
Angela Moreman, principal at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, said she also appreciated how understanding parents and others have been.
“I appreciate the efforts of staff, teachers and students and how understanding they have been,” Moreman said. “It has worked out well.”
Other missed school days will be made up May 30 and June 2-5.
There are additional days built in, in the case that school is cancelled again. April 26 and May 17, both Saturdays, and Friday, June 6, will be make-up days if the school district experiences additional cancellations.
Board members also talked about preparation for ISTEP.
Because of technology glitches in last year’s ISTEP tests, administrators are taking extra steps to make sure the district is ready for the upcoming test. Jamie Ramos, technology director for the district, talked to board members about what was being done.
Some of the things Ramos discussed were having 60 iPads at each access point, so as not to overload access points, spreading out classrooms and tweaking schedules so everyone is not testing at the same time in the same area.
Amanda Skinner, principal at Carroll Elementary, pointed out there is a specific way the test needs to be administered. For example, the state would like all third grade students be administered the test at the same time and there is a potential problem because grades are grouped together.
Classrooms might physically be spread out in different wings of the schools if needed during testing.
“It’s a jigsaw puzzle getting the [ISTEP] schedule figured out,” Skinner said.
There is also a plan in case iPads break down. There are 12 spare iPads available and the computer lab will act as a cushion for some of those issues, Lagoni said.
No additional money needs to be spent before ISTEP testing, Ramos said.
Dave Lambert, school board president, talked about the importance of being prepared.
“[A-to-F] grades are based on ISTEP and we need to be ready,” Lambert said.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.
Carroll make-up plans Scheduled make-up days: March 1, May 30, June 2, June 3, June 4 and June 5 Possible make-up days in case of more cancellations: April 26, May 17 and June 6. If June 6 is a student make-up day, June 7 will be used as a teacher records day. Graduation will take place 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8.