NEWS HEADLINES

TEA approves most districts’ weather waivers

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Texas Education Agency has approved most Wise County school districts’ waivers, allowing them to forego making up instructional days lost because of this past winter’s inclement weather.

Boyd ISD is the lone district whose application is still out to the TEA, according to Superintendent Ted West.

Several districts, like Decatur ISD, had to ask the state to waive up to five missed instructional days. Northwest ISD proved to be the exception, having avoided some severe storms this past winter.

“We only had two days waived, and we absorbed two others into the school calendar,” said Emily Conklin, NISD director of communications.

She said NISD was still affected by the major December ice storm, like most schools in the area.

The process for requesting the agency to waive missed instructional days is online at www.tea.state.tx.us. The site explains that missed instructional days can be waived if caused by bad weather, safety or health issues. Schools may also request waivers for other reasons.

Bridgeport ISD Superintendent Eddie Bland said his district not only needed five days waived for severe weather, but also another two days for low attendance.

Bland said schools that experience days with a 10 percent drop in attendance compared to previous years can have those day waived.

“One of those days followed the four days of ice in December. We were back in school, but we only had 82 percent of students attend,” Bland said. “The day following the city’s water outage we were like at 85 percent.”

The city of Bridgeport experienced major water main breaks in January that forced them to issue a boil-water notice to customers.

TEA also approved waivers for Paradise, Alvord, and Slidell ISD. Paradise Assistant Superintendent Patti Seckman said an additional day left out of the district’s original application will be on the board of trustees’ April 21 agenda for approval and submission to the state.

The additional day, if granted, would bring PISD’s total days waived to five.

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