On Tuesday, September 26, two Hurricane Irma makeup days were proposed for Broward County Public Schools. The school district has decided to change two early release days – October 19 and December 22 – into full class days. Due to students missing a full seven days of school for Hurricane Irma, the district is hoping to make up this lost time throughout the year.
“I’m not a fan of losing early release days, but I feel like it’s going to prevent us from falling behind later in the year,” senior Marc Olmeda said. “It’s really for our own benefit.”
These makeup days have been approved by the Broward County School Board so that students and teachers can begin to adjust their calendars.
State laws mandate that Florida schools have at least 180 school days every year in order to receive state funding. While Broward County Schools missed a total of seven days, State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has granted Florida Schools a two day reprieve from this requirement. This means that out of the seven days missed, only five days will have to be made up in order to meet the requirement for funding.
“For the communities that were hit hardest by Hurricane Irma, it may not be feasible to make up all the hours of lost instruction,” Stewart said. “Given how critical instructional hours are to the success of each student, districts must make up as many of the lost instructional hours as possible.
Schools districts may also fill out a waiver application by October 16 if they find that they will not be able to make up all lost days. Broward County has not announced if they will be completing this waiver.
In order to make up these lost days, school districts in Florida are hoping to avoid adding days to the end of the year. However, not every early release day can be canceled. Along with this, CCHS can not add makeup days to professional study days, as not every Broward County School has PSDs and makeup days must be county wide.
“I think [the make up days] are necessary,” teacher Mrs. Rodriguez said. “Whenever we have a natural disaster we have to go with the flow, even if that means giving up an early release day. Students have to go to school a certain number of days so we just have to be flexible.”
Photo courtesy of Broward County Schools