"Less is more" could be the case for local students as districts decide whether less school now because of snow days will mean more school later.
The half-foot of snow dumped on Cartersville and Bartow County at the start of the week, which soon turned into ice, creating treacherous road conditions, locked down transportation and closed schools all week.
Each school system has used six snow days this winter. Guidance from state education authorities will help determine whether students have to make up some of those days.
Because budget concerns led to a shortened 177-day school calendar this year, the Bartow County school system is more likely to try to make up missed days.
"Our desire is for them to make it up," Bartow County Schools Superintendent John Harper said, adding that the state Department of Education typically excuses two snow days per year. "We'll look at calendars and make some decisions, survey our staff. We've got some (teacher) workdays that we can look at. We'll possibly be looking at some other days that we can tack on to the end."
Harper said snow days in December and January are particularly disruptive.
"Right after the break sometimes we do some testing to finish out the year, typically not. We had one day we missed already prior to that, so that delayed some of that testing," he said. "It's best that we get it in before Christmas break. We do have standardized testing coming up fairly soon, and everyone looks at those results as significant pieces of information on how well our kids are doing."
He added: "There's never a good time."
Cartersville schools have a little more leeway because the system maintained a 180-day calendar. Superintendent Howard Hinesley said Wednesday a decision on making up snow days could come in February, after officials see whether more inclement weather shuts down the schools.
"We're one of the few systems ... going 180 days, so we'll decide that later on because we're not sure all this is over yet," he said. "We're given the flexibility that up to four days doesn't have to be made up."
That flexibility from the state still leaves two days Cartersville schools could be required to make up even if the snow and ice are done for the winter.
The Bartow County Board of Education is set to meet Friday at 5 p.m.