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Originally published: 2014-01-07 17:07:08
Last modified: 2014-01-07 17:10:15

Students will attend school Saturday

by Allison Haver

Watauga County Schools will open and run on an early release schedule this Saturday, Jan. 11. Students have missed five days of school due to inclement weather this year.

According to the Watauga County Schools system's make-up day policy, after five or more days are missed, Saturday may be used as a make-up day. No more than two Saturdays in a four-week period and no more than two consecutive Saturdays will be used to make-up days missed due to inclement weather, according to the policy.

Even before the required five days were missed, however, administrators had planned to open school this Saturday.

"We are running on a new calendar and had a later starting date (Aug. 19) this school year," said Watauga County Schools Public Information Officer Marshall Ashcraft.

"Starting 10 to 12 days later than we usually do, we did not want to run out of available Saturdays," Ashcraft said.

Not every Saturday is available to be used for make-up days. Administrators must take into consideration the school building availability and if the roads are safe enough for students to attend Saturday school. If Watauga County Schools are closed on a Friday, school will not be held that Saturday.

If there are no school cancellations during the week, Watauga County Schools will not open school that Saturday.

"We do not run a six day week," said Ashcraft.

Although inclement weather is the main reason school days are cancelled, cold temperatures alone may be a sufficient reason to cancel.

"Cold temperatures can certainly be a factor for cancelling school. Students are exposed to the weather while waiting for buses and our buses are diesel fueled and would have problems starting or running correctly in freezing temperatures," Ashcraft said.

Several sources provide school closing information. The Watauga County Schools website, the snowline at (828) 264-0200, the Alert Now phone call that goes out to all school households from the superintendent.

School calendar updates will be posted to the Watauga County Schools website periodically as the calendar is revised for school closings due to inclement weather.