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Here's what Durham parents, students need to know about May 16

Teachers rally in front of the Fuller Administration Building to ask the Durham school board to cancel classes May 16 so they can go to Raleigh to advocate for public education.
Teachers rally in front of the Fuller Administration Building to ask the Durham school board to cancel classes May 16 so they can go to Raleigh to advocate for public education.

Now that Durham Public Schools will be closed for students May 16 so teachers can rally for better pay and working conditions in Raleigh, what do families need to know?

May 16 will be an optional teacher work day, which means teachers will treat it like they would an inclement weather day. Staff may take leave, come to work or otherwise make up the time in consultation with their supervisors.

The decision still left DPS to figure out how to feed children for whom school breakfast and lunch might be their only meals of the day. The school district also had to find a new site for Hillside High School students to take a required International Baccalaureate exam and reschedule Advanced Placement exams for more than 500 students.

Here is what you need to know:

There will be no make-up date because there are no viable dates available. District policies discourage using Saturdays, making up the date on Memorial Day is unadvisable and the state’s calendar law will not permit extending the school year by a day. Because schools will still meet the minimum number of instructional hours required in the school year, there will not be a make-up date.

DPS is making alternative arrangements for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams that are scheduled for May 16. AP exams for English Language and Composition have been moved to May 23 and for Macroeconomics have been moved to May 25, both at their original locations. The IB exams cannot be rescheduled so DPS is partnering with N. C. Central University to host the exams for those students. Transportation will be provided to the IB exams. More details will provided to those families soon.

DPS will provide meal services on May 16 through an extension of summer feeding program at the following 13 schools: Bethesda Elementary, Club Boulevard Elementary, Eastway Elementary, Eno Valley Elementary, Githens Middle, Glenn Elementary, R.N. Harris Elementary, Hillandale Elementary, Lakewood Montessori Middle, Sandy Ridge Elementary, Shepard Elementary, Southwest Elementary, Southern School of Energy and Sustainability.

School Nutrition Services staff members will be at these locations to prepare and serve meals in the cafeterias. All meals will be free to all students. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Muffin, Nutri-Grain bar, fruit juice and milk.)

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Turkey and cheese or ham and cheese sandwich, chips, fruit juice, fruit cup, baby carrots, Rice Krispie treat, and milk.)

The Durham Association of Educators has also shared the names of more than a dozen churches and civic organizations that have offered to partner with the school district to provide lunches for students who need them on May 16. Several organizations pledged to send food home with students home May 15 to help them get through the new teacher workday.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645
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