School District Five Board of Trustees waives student make-up day for May 1
Lexington-Richland School District Five’s Board of Trustees has voted to forgive a day students missed on May 1, 2019 due to a teacher rally at the statehouse. The day has been waived for students, but employees who missed the day will be responsible for ensuring they make up missed work hours, per the board’s approval at the May 6 special-called board meeting.
“As we’ve said before, our focus is always on the students…and we feel our recommendation to waive the missed day for students was made with their best interests in mind,” said Dr. Christina Melton, superintendent of School District Five. “We also need to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. Staff will be responsible for making up the day by documenting worked hours on a make-up log prior to the last day of their contracts for the 2018-2019 school year. We are thankful that the board approved our recommendation.”
The district monitored leave in the days leading up to the teacher rally. After monitoring leave requests and considering unanticipated additional leave, the district made the decision to close schools on May 1.
“Despite several contingency plans, including but not limited to utilizing substitutes and staff, we could not provide the staffing needed to ensure normal school operations on that date,” Melton said. “Our focus is always on our students and their safety. It was out of an abundance of caution that we made the decision to close schools.”
By law (Section 59-1-425 of the South Carolina Code of Laws), all school days missed because of snow, extreme weather conditions, or other disruptions requiring schools to close must be made up. The law also requires school districts to designate annually at least three days within their school calendars to be used as make-up days. Those dates for School District Five already have been used for make-up days:
Monday, October 8. Students attended school on this day, which was previously scheduled as a Staff Development/Teacher Work Day.
Friday, March 29. Students attended school on this day, which was previously scheduled as a Teacher/Student Holiday.
Monday, April 22. Students attended school on this day, which was previously scheduled as a Staff Development/Teacher Work Day.
By state law and Policy IC, local School Boards may waive up to three additional days by a majority vote after the district has made up three days or the appropriate number of missed hours. Prior to the May 6 vote, the School District Five Board of Trustees already had waived two days lost to inclement weather. The May 1 forgiveness is the final date the board can waive in the current academic school year.