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Spring break is shortened by 3 days in county system

Unless students in the Letcher County school system miss more days, May 22 will be the last day of school for the 2013-14 year.

The Letcher County Board of Education decided Monday night to shorten spring break by three days in an effort to keep students from attending classes in June.

“The reason we want to do it early is to give people time to plan if they either want to make plans or change plans,” said Letcher Supt. Tony Sergent. “If we can do it in January that will help our parents out.”

School will be held Monday, March 31, Tuesday, April 1, and Wednesday, April 2.

The decision isn’t a surprise, as it was noted on the school calendar that these days could be used as makeup days if needed.

With almost two months of winter left, Sergent predicts that frigid temperatures and snowy days aren’t over for this school year and shortening spring break is necessary.

“Obviously, we are going to miss more days of school,” said Sergent. “Again, it is probably not a popular decision with the community, but I’m really afraid that the bad weather is not over so it’s just something we’d like to try to get in front of.”

The district has missed a total of 14 days because of bad weather. Classes have only been in session four days this semester.

May 14 was set in the school calendar as the original last day for students.

In addition to adding three days of spring break back to the school calendar, the district banked five days. Banked days, which are used to compensate for some days missed, are days accumulated by having extra time added to the regular school day.

If the district continues to miss more days, Sergent said, the board may consider taking the remaining two days of spring break, which are Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4.

Board Member Mendy Boggs asked if Letcher County Central High School’s senior trip to New York City would be affected by the board’s decision since the trip is scheduled for the week of spring break.

“It will have a lot of educational value,” said Kenneth Cornett, district director of pupil personnel. “I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Nancy Ratliff, secretary and treasurer of Letcher County Education Support Professionals (LCESP), asked the board if it would consider adding extra time to the end of the school day to help make up some time.

“Obviously, if we miss a couple more weeks we would definitely consider that,” said Sergent.

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