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Schools Say Saturday Classes Would Be 'Last Resort' Option


MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- As school districts in Virginia take a strong approach to making up snow days by sending kids to school on Saturdays, parents are wondering if this is an option locally.

Students in Martin County, Ky., already have missed 35 days of school this year, and the district says it has held Saturday classes before. At this point, though, district leaders say they hope the state education commissioner will allow “disaster days” for the bad weather.

“Every time we've watched Tony Cavalier, he gives us another round of bad news,” Kraig Grayson, director of pupil personnel for Martin County Schools, said. “We're in a place we've not been. I don't have all the answers.”

Grayson said the board has considered holding class on Saturday, but it is a last resort option. Several parents told WSAZ.com they didn’t like the idea because it would ruin weekend plans, but one father said he thought it could be a good idea.

“They're sending the make-up work home with them, but that's not making up for being in class and actually learning from their teachers,” Joshua Hunt, who has two daughters at Inez Elementary, said. “If they send them on Saturdays, that still gives them a summer break to where we're able to go on vacation.”

“Some parents I talk to would understand if we schedule two or three Saturdays. Other parents – my kid's not going to school on Saturday, no matter what,” Grayson said.

Class will go until June 13 in Martin County as of right now, but winter is not over yet and school has to end by June 30 in Kentucky. Grayson told WSAZ.com he hopes the state will relax the requirement of 170 instructional days.

“If there's ever a winter that we need disaster days, it's this year in Martin County,” Grayson said. “Everything is up in the air. We're still in February. We still have March to go.”

In other districts, Saturday classes are not a viable option. The assistant superintendent of Cabell County Schools tells WSAZ.com that it would cost far too much for the district to keep teachers and staff beyond the 200 days they are contracted to work and therefore would never happen.

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