Lawrence Co. Schools add hour per day to make up for lost time

Lawrence Co. Schools lost two days of instruction time due to inclement weather.
Lawrence Co. Schools lost two days of instruction time due to inclement weather.

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Lawrence County Schools will make up time lost to weather-related closures by adding extra time to each school day through the end of next week.

School officials said adding an extra hour per day for eight school days is a way to try and keep students and staff from having to come in on extra full or half-days.

The State Legislature passed a law in 2012 that concentrated the time allowed for the school year. Schools cannot start earlier than two weeks before Labor Day, and cannot end later than the Friday before Memorial Day. The law was an effort to boost Gulf Coast tourism after the BP oil spill.

This means that school systems have fewer options to make up for lost class time. Alabama schools must choose between days and hours, meaning they can fulfill 180 school days for the year or 1,080 hours.

By choosing the hours requirement, Lawrence County school officials said they can make up this week's weather-related lost time without making students and staff come in on an unscheduled day.

"Because of the compressed calendar and the mandates that are present with that, it left us really with no room to put days anywhere as opposed to looking at having to go on Saturdays or having to add school days," said Casey Reed.

The school system had eight extra hours already built in. They lost a total of 16 hours this week, so the extra hour per day through the end of next week puts them even.

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