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Schools OK plan for missed time

The Lincoln County School District will adopt a policy similarto that approved by city schools for making up time lost followingHurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, school board members in Lawrence County are expectedto approve a different plan tonight.

Lincoln County School Board members on Monday approved a plan towaive the 180-day state requirement.

In doing so, the district will still meet the state requirementfor hours of instruction, Superintendent Terry Brister said.

State regulations require students receive a minimum of 330minutes of instruction on each of the 180 days.

“We’re perfectly fine,” he said. “We meet 20 minutes above therequirement every day.”

The plan must still be approved by the state Department ofEducation, but Brister said he doesn’t foresee that being anobstacle.

A similar plan was approved and submitted to the stateDepartment of Education by the Brookhaven School District lastweek, Superintendent Lea Barrett said.

The plans would continue to recognize all previously scheduledholidays and breaks, the superintendents said.

The state department gave districts statewide until Nov. 15 todraw up plans to bring them back into compliance with state andfederal instructional requirements after some were closed more thantwo weeks following Katrina.

Due to the financial hardship incurred and the impracticabilityof some districts operating the full 180 days, the state board willinstead allow districts to provide 130 hours of instructional timefor per class unit. All plans are subject to review and approval bythe education department.

The Lawrence County school board has not ruled on a plan, butSuperintendent Russell Caudill said last week he is prepared tosubmit one when the board meets tonight.

“What I intend to propose to the school board is to extend oursecond semester into the first week of January – to Jan. 6 – and wehave discontinued early release on Wednesdays,” he said.

Discontinuing early release on Wednesdays will ensure therequirements are met next semester, Caudill said.

“I feel like the state board of education will find thisacceptable because we will more than make up for theirrequirements,” Caudill said.