Howard Co. schools decide to make up snow day April 14

March 30, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Howard County Board of Education revisited its decision to make up a snow day April 14 - formerly known as the first day of spring break - during its meeting Thursday, deciding ultimately it was the best plan.

Other ideas that were considered, and eventually ruled out, included using the Monday after Easter, a state-designated holiday, as the makeup day instead of breaking up the vacation. But that option would cost the school system $325,000 in holiday pay for support staff.

"That would be a real waste of tax dollars," said Sandra H. French, the board chairman.

Using the spring break day is far less costly, she said, even though absences are likely to be high and 410 requests have been received for substitute teachers that day. ( Showing a bit of planning, one teacher has asked for the day off as a bereavement day.)

The substitutes, paid $70 a day, will cost the school system about $28,700 - $21,700 more than is spent on a normal day. But this, board members pointed out, is not a normal day.

The board has been hearing from many in the community who are upset about having to choose between canceling trips or having their children miss a day of instruction, which many plan to do.

"They have the inconvenience of having to make up the work," French said, "but you know, that's life."

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