Barnette, Patterson talk snow days


Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette, left, and Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, right, weigh in on the effects of such a long break in the middle of the school year. / Tribune file photo, Cullman City Schools

CULLMAN – With area students already coming off a three-day weekend, then getting Tuesday and Wednesday off due to winter weather, Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette and Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson weigh in on the effects of such a long break in the middle of the school year.

According to Barnette, though not ideal, there’s a bright side as well. “Weather like we are experiencing this week always causes havoc to our normal busy school schedule.  One thing for sure, it forces us to focus on what’s most important, the safety of our students.  Even though it often creates challenges for families when we cancel or delay school, I will never apologize for making decisions that are in the best interest of keeping our students safe,” he said. “A positive that will hopefully come from being out of school right now is that it prevents the flu virus from spreading.  We have several students and teachers sick and hopefully this will give them time to recover.”

Said Patterson, “These days affect scheduling for students and extracurricular activities. When these events happen, our priority is the safety of students and staff.”

So, what about making up the time?

“We have a bad weather make-up day built into our schedule, but we also have many options that will be considered when making up missed instructional time,” Barnette said. “No decisions have been made at this time about making up missed time.  We just want our students and their families to be safe and enjoy this time together.”

Patterson responded, “Our administrators and teachers do an excellent job of recovering any lost instructional time, we will follow procedures as provided by the state department.”

Barnette also reminds students to be ready to go when school resumes.

“As soon as school can resume safely, the students need to be ready to kick their learning in high gear,” he said. “I know the teachers will be eager to get their instruction back on pace.  It is also extremely important that all students try to be present as much as possible the remaining of the school year, so they can learn all that is expected. We are blessed to have educators and parents that know how important their children’s education is to their success.”

Both public school systems were on a two-hour delay Thursday morning.

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