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After mild winter, school year should end early

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Carroll students could get out of school earlier than they have in years.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — The mild winter should lead to a long summer for students in Carroll County schools.
It appears that this year’s trend of minimal frozen precipitation covering the roads could continue, Superintendent Greg Smith said after the school board discussed the topic at its February meeting.
The warmer than usual winter weather comes after at least three years of missing more than 20 snow days each. Smith hopes the pattern continues to hold.
More than once, the Carroll school system has held its graduation on Memorial Day Weekend because snow days kept pushing the academic year later and later.
But for this year, the last day of school should happen on May 11 and graduation is planned for May 12.
Fewer snow days leads to benefits for the classroom, the superintendent added. In December 2010, for example, students went to school for only four days out of the month.
The educational process has flowed much better this year.
Missing school days means teachers have to go back and review with students the material they’d already presented, Smith noted. That’s not been an issue this year.
Students getting to take off the balance of May through the first few days of August should be pleased, he said. The long summer will also give more opportunities for construction crews to make progress on work at the high school and intermediate school.
Staff will have time for training workshops and clinics and still get a nice break before school resumes.
And summer school sessions will fit well into the break, Smith said.
Not having snow days must be a relief for parents, too, as they don’t have to find a sitter or stay at home from work with the children, the superintendent said.
The draft schools calendar calls for the new year to begin Aug. 8.
“It makes it more beneficial for faculty and students all the way around for rest and relaxation and getting their batteries recharged for the start of the 2013 school year,” Smith said.