Atlanta Public Schools decides to make up missed classes by extending school bell schedule through March
Atlanta Public Schools announced its plan to make up seven schools days missed since the beginning of the school year due to inclement weather. The district will add 30 minutes to the end of the day from January 29 through March 30.
This means elementary schools will release at 3 p.m., high schools will release at 4 p.m., and middle schools will release at 4:35 p.m.
Schools not operating on the district bell schedule will also add 30 minutes to their instructional day and should be contacted directly for schedule information, the release said.
Before making a decision on a plan for make-up days, the district gathered feedback from parents, principals, students, staff and the community and issued a survey on the topic, outlining six options for making up the missed days. By the end of Sunday, Jan. 21, 14,421 people had completed the survey, with the majority selecting option five, which would extend the school day by 30 minutes.
“With each school cancellation, I grew more concerned about the significant loss of instructional time our students had suffered,” APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. “Although Atlanta Public Schools has the flexibility and autonomy with operational decisions and is therefore not required by the state to make up days, we know that it’s important to identify possible options for our community to consider and weigh in on. Stakeholder feedback influenced our decision significantly.”
Here were the survey options and the resulting votes:
|Option Number||Description||Number of Votes/Percentage|
|Option 1||Make up the days on February 21 – 23, during Winter Break
|Option 2||Make up the days on February 19 – 21, during Winter Break||1,188 (8.24%)|
|Option 3||Make up the days on February 19-20, during Winter Break and the
March 19 professional learning day
|Option 4||Make up the days on February 22 -23, during Winter Break and the March 19professional learning day
|Option 5||Extend the school day by 30 minutes from January 29 to March 30||4,021 (27.88%)|
|Option 6||Add 15 minutes to start of the day and 15 minutes to end of the day from January 29 to March 30
In addition, APS surveyed principals separately and nearly half of them (49 percent) preferred Option 5. According to the release, APS is coordinating with principals on schedules that maximize the additional instructional time, altering schedules in the Transportation Department, including plans for student-athletes and teams, and working with the Human Resources and Finance departments to ensure that the plan will be cost-neutral.
Fulton County Schools still has yet to decide how to make up the missed days.