Richmond County BOE votes to scrap proposed make-up days

News 12 at 11 / Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A long day at the BOE finally comes down to a vote.

"All in favor?" asked BOE President Venus Cain.
"Aye," responded all the board members.

It's official, Saturday school is off the calendar, and that's not the only day leaders decided to scrap. After four hours worth of meetings, Richmond County Board of Education members reversed their vote, and now, students don't have to make up any days

It was a vote that trumps a decision announced just a week ago to make up three days of school missed during the ice storm. Now, that number is zero.

"I think it's a great idea. What this shows is that the Board does listen when the community speaks," parent Monique Braswell said.

It's a decision that delights parents and teachers alike.

"Nobody wanted to come on a Saturday. Students didn't want to come. Teachers didn't want to come," said teacher Amy Martinello.

It wasn't easy getting there. The decision came after hours of discussion, visible frustration, and lots of heated comments.

"I'm tired as an elected official to be made to look as a fool because administration did not do their homework," board member Jimmy Atkins said.

But, when it came down to it, parents, teachers, and board members had the same thought.

"I don't think 3 days is going to make a difference," Braswell said.

"If they don't know it, they don't know it. I don't think three days would make a difference," admitted Martinello.

"If things are not in place, three days is not going to help," board member Barbara Pulliam said.

The decision to pick this discussion back up came when board members learned about half their teaching staff wouldn't be there for the Saturday school because of a conference at GRU.

Amy Martinello teaches 3rd grade math at Craig-Houghton and says she's usually a part of that, but this year she would have been absent for a different reason.

"I usually present at GRU, but I'm not because I'm doing prom for Davidson, so that was another conflict," she said.

Now that the conflicts are gone, morale is up.

"I think it helps the morale. Some of the teachers were just all up in the air about it, so hopefully this won't happen again," Pulliam said.

One of the last questions teachers want answered is what happens to days they've already made up in February? Board members said each school will probably figure that out, and they could get some comp days.

Leaders will be meeting with principals Wednesday morning.

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RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW)- The Richmond County Board of education voted Tuesday evening to get rid of all of its proposed makeup days.

The make-up days initially scheduled for St. Patrick's Day, Mon. March 22 and Good Friday have been canceled.

The Board said the students will have no makeup days now, after schools closed several days because of winter weather.


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