By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Students in the Cannon County Schools System have enjoyed more time out of school this semester than usual.
In fact, Cannon County Schools planned for 11 snow days for 2013-14 and nine of those days already have been exhausted, according to Director of Schools Barbara Parker.
Eight of those nine days have been used since school resumed in January, meaning students have missed extensive classroom instruction thanks to Mother Nature.
"The concern is that days of instruction are lost due to snow days, so the fear is that material that the students need to know for the tests will not be covered," Parker said.
Later testing days this year are a blessing across the state as weather has played a significant role throughout Tennessee.
Grammar school students will take state-mandated TCAP testing April 29-May 2, and end of course exams for students at Cannon County High School begin the week of May 5.
"Due to the later testing dates, I feel that our students will be prepared (for testing)," Parker said. "Testing and making sure our students get a quality education at all levels is of major importance. Necessary adjustments to the instructional calendar will be made to ensure that students are prepared for the state testing."
Parker said, by nature, teachers are use to adjusting to circumstances such as lost days due to weather.
"Every year, we run the risk of having an exorbitant amount of inclement weather days, so teachers plan ahead for such circumstances," Parker said. "This is just a fact of life when you are a teacher. I am proud of what our teachers accomplish year after year with all the interruptions we have to the school day."
Due to benchmark testing throughout the year students should have knowledge of material on the state tests and end of course exams.
"Teachers have a list of Tennessee State standards that must be covered for the test," Parker said. "The teachers also like to review material that was taught at the beginning of the year before the test. We have done benchmark tests and practice tests all year to get students ready for the TCAP. Every day should be spent covering the standards and making sure students know the material before the test is given."
In the event more than the allotted two remaining snow days had to be used students would have to make up the days missed.