How the Pocahontas County Teachers Are Making Up for Missed School Days
A couple of weeks ago we interviewed Pocahontas County School Superintendent Terrence Beam and learned how the students would be making up lost instructional days due to the weather and the work stoppage, At that time, it was uncertain how teachers would be making up the 200 days they are required to work according to their individual contracts. You may have noticed during the current Spring Break that there are a lot of cars parked at the schools during the days, and Mr. Beam now is able to tell us why that is so, and explain how the teachers will be making up their missed days.
“I want to talk for just a few minutes about the ending schedule for this current school year” said Beam.
“The last day for students as of now –obviously freakish things can happen with the weather- but as of right now, the last day is going to be June 14th. Students will be released three hours early on the 14th, and that will be their last day. The ending day for employees is a little bit more complicated because we decided when we passed our calendar last year we would protect Spring Break for employees and for students. And we kept that with the students, and we kept that in some fashion with the employees too. If we had employees who already had plans for Spring Break to take their family somewhere, to go visit family or whatever, we’re letting them continue with those plans and not forcing them in to work this week, buit they have to make up those days at the tail end of the calendar. So the ending date for employees is not going to be the traditional day that everybody quits (for the school year)on the same day because of the different schedules that people are keeping. The Principals will be responsible for making sure that those people are working the days that they are not working this week. The different ending dates are going to vary from employee to employee. Most of them will finish up the week after the students are finished on the 14th. They finish on a Thursday and most of our teachers will be finishing up on the Monday of the following week probably, unless they work off some additional time. We are giving them some flexibility on working off time after school if they have parent –teacher conferences or they have trainings on the weekend that they are attending, rather than taking a stipend for working extra hours, we’re letting them trade that time off. So the time will vary for the employees this year.”
I asked Mr. Beam how all of this affects the Principals.
“The Principals –they have a 220 day contract” answered Beam. “So they work 20 days more than the Teachers do. Traditionally what we do is bring the Principals in ten days early before the Teachers start, so they can get their schools ready and then they work ten days after the teachers leave. Or, they work some snow days –we had a lot of snow days this year and work stoppage days, so we had Principaqls coming in and working some of those days. I called them in for Principals Meetings during those times so we didn’t have to pull them out of school when school was in session. And again, as long as they document – and they all have to turn in a time sheet to me- to document the twenty days that they work. Now Mr. Riley at the High School is different, he’s a 240 (hour) contract, so he works year round. But the others are 220 contracts and they just document which days they work and they turn those in to me at the end of the school year.
Well, we hope that finally clears up any questions you might have about this school year’s students’ and employees’ convoluted school calendar. If you have other questions we did not get answers to in the two stories we did about this year’s school calendar, feel free to email them to me at Tim@amrmail.org and I will do my best to get answers to your questions.