Make-up Day Madness

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS-- Students in Huntsville and Springdale School Districts hit the books on Saturday.
With standardized tests coming up, district administrators are hoping to make up for time lost due to lingering winter weather.

Huntsville School District's assistant superintendent, Shelby Sisemore, said "when you have a school year where you miss 22 days it makes you do some things you don't really want to do."

Regardless, Sisemore says they are making the best of the Saturday school day. He hopes after the bell rings, kids will with a normal weekend.

"It's a short day today. It's what we call an early schedule. Our girls basketball team is involved in a tournament this afternoon and we have a lot of people planning to attend that but I think that we can make both happen"

Over in Springdale, principal of Har-Ber High School, Danny Brackett said they are at a 13-snow day setback, so students are in a similar situation.

"We are at about 66 percent of our total student body but normally we would run about 92 percent."

But with Saturday school, both districts expected some absences.

Sisemore said, "We have to be very flexible on that you know a lot of our high school students have jobs on the weekend." He said students who missed school due to work were excused. This is also true for the Springdale School District.

District administrators--happy to help students catch-up.

"We have really been encouraging students to be here because those 13 missed school days effects them on that exam that they take at the end of the year," Brackett said.

School staff members are hoping winter weather doesn't make any more messes.

Brackett said, "We want to help them prepare to be successful this year to move onto the next level next year."
Sisemore said, "I won't say that's it's ideal to be here on a Saturday but the situation has dictated that that's what we need to do and hey we're going to make the best of it."

The Huntsville School District is still waiting to hear about a waiver from the state. If approved, it would eliminate 11 days from the school year. They should know the outcome by the end of March. For now, both districts will be making up class time by extending school days into break times.

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