Wake and Durham schools will be closed all day Thursday and Friday because of Florence

Watch the ABC11 forecast for the latest on Florence

Watch the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on the development of Hurricane Florence and its projected track into North Carolina.
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Watch the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on the development of Hurricane Florence and its projected track into North Carolina.

Both the Wake County and Durham County school systems have changed their minds about having a half day of classes on Thursday and instead will close schools for the entire day.

The school systems had already announced they’d be closed Friday because of the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence. The decision to also close Thursday means both Wake and Durham will join Johnston and Orange counties and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system in being closed for the rest of the week.

The announcement by Wake to close Thursday drew both praise and complaints Wednesday.

Some parents thanked Wake, which said the decision was made to go from a half day to no classes “in consideration of family and staff needs.”

“Thank you @wcpss for reconsidering your decision and closing schools Thursday in consideration of the teachers and students needing time to prepare or evacuate prior to the hurricane,” Lauren Arnold, a parent, tweeted Wednesday.

Governor Roy Cooper tells North Carolinians to making final preparations for Hurricane Florence during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 12, 2018.

But some parents questioned whether weather conditions would really be so bad for school to be canceled Thursday. Other people questioned having traditional-calendar students make up the missed day on a Saturday, Oct. 13.

“Since @WCPSS Announced yesterday that Thurs. would be a half day of school, Raleigh has moved out of the cone, the storm has tracked further south, & is est. to arrive later. So now they think we need a whole day off Thursday to prepare? #makesnosense,” Cyndi Tomblin, a parent, tweeted Wednesday.

NC Governor Roy Cooper outlines preparations for Hurricane Florence during a press briefing Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.

The makeup days for Thursday and Friday for Wake students will be:

Traditional calendar: Oct. 13 and Oct. 31.

Year-round calendar tracks 2, 3 and 4: Sept. 22 and Dec. 8.

Modified calendar: Sept. 24-25

Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy and Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy: Sept. 21 and Oct. 8.

Vernon Malone Career and College Academy, Wake Early College of Health Sciences and North Wake College and Career Academy: Oct. 4-5.

Wake STEM Early College: Oct. 4 and Oct. 12.

Barwell Road and Walnut Creek elementary schools: Oct. 16-17.

Carroll, East Garner and East Millbrook middle schools: Nov. 20 and Dec. 21.

Fox Road Elementary School; Sept. 28 and Oct. 13.

Historically, Saturdays have only been used in Wake as makeup days by year-round schools. Students at those schools have a half day of classes on Saturdays.

But traditional-calendar schools, which account for a majority of Wake’s 162,000 students, will have a full day of classes on Oct. 13. School officials have previously said they need a full day to help ensure that high schools stay above the state’s minimum of 1,025 hours of annual instruction each year.

“Does wcpss not realize that we are working #broke students i can not afford to come in on a saturday,” Britney Hong, a student at Panther Creek High School in Cary, tweeted to the district on Wednesday.

When Wake last proposed using Saturdays as makeup days for traditional-calendar schools in 2015, so many parents protested that the district opted instead to replace the lost time by cutting into spring break.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui

NASA shared video on September 12 showing the view of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station as the Category 4 storm approached the US east coast.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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