WGTC adding days to school year
by Celia Shortt
West Georgia Technical College is adding two days of classes to its spring semester to make up for lost instructional time during the recent severe winter weather across north Georgia — including Coweta and Carroll counties.
The Carroll County-based college has campuses from LaGrange to Douglas County, including the new campus south of Newnan off Turkey Creek Road.
“I regret that this may cause some inconvenience to our faculty, staff, and students, but it is unavoidable given the number of days that we have missed due to the weather this month,” said WGTC Interim President Pat Hannon. “I appreciate everyone’s help and support as we do what is best for our students in these situations.”
The two days being added to the spring semester are Thursday, March 13 and Thursday, May 1. This change will eliminate the in-service day on March 13 for faculty and staff and an exam day in May. The remaining exam day for the semester is still scheduled for Monday, May 5.
WGTC’s spring break will still take place from March 31 to April 4, and the rest of the calendar for the semester will remain intact. Open registration for summer and fall semester classes will begin on April 7. Late registration will take place on May 15.
The Carrollton-based University of West Georgia — which has a Newnan satellite campus — also had to close its campus on certain days due to weather. According to word Tuesday from UWG officials, however, they are not adding any more days to their school calendar.
The recent severe winter weather has also caused the Coweta County School System to determine how best to make up some of the more recent snow days.
Since January, Coweta schools have canceled school eight times because of severe weather.
“The lost instructional time concerns me,” said Dr. Steve Barker, superintendent for Coweta Schools. “I know it concerns our teachers and parents. We want to do what is best for students and everyone else involved.”
Coweta is only looking at making up the last two days missed.
This year, Coweta has stayed above the state’s requirement of 180 school days or its equivalent number of instructional minutes — 300 minutes of instructional time per day for elementary school students and 320 for middle and high school students.
The state also has an emergency day rule that provides four emergency days to schools fulfilling those state requirements.
With those four days and because they exceeded the state’s requirement, Coweta does not have to make up the first six missed days.
Dr. Barker will be working with the school board to determine the most effective way to make up the lost instructional time for students and teachers.
Coweta school students are out this week for the pre-planned winter break.