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      Nearly 50 AR school districts apply to waive weather make-up days

      LITTLE ROCK (KATV)--47 Arkansasschool districts have applied for the state's inclement weather waiverextension and even more are expected to after this week's ice storm.

      Toqualify for this waiver, a school district must have missed more than 10 days ofschool because of inclement weather.

      Oneschool district has already missed almost an entire month of schools days. Thanksto Mother Nature, students in the Viola District missed the most with a whopping19 days.

      Mostof the districts hit the hardest during this season's winter storms are in thenorthern part of the state, like in Eureka Springs with 17 days.

      However,it wasn't a walk in the park for students in central Arkansas either, as mostschools have already burned through their five planned make-up days.

      "Withthe inclement weather that we've seen here in Arkansas, school districts thathave missed more than 10 days can apply for a waiver of the 178 dayrequirement," said Arkansas Department of Education Director of Communications,Kim Friedman. {}{}

      Ifthe Arkansas Board of Education approves these waivers; this would mean thatdistricts would only be required to make up the 10 missed days and nothingbeyond that.

      "Schooldistricts have to show that they're trying to make up as many days as possible,they can do that through a variety of ways," said Friedman. "They can actuallyuse teacher workshop days as makeup days for instructional time," she added.

      The threemetro school districts; Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County havenot applied for waivers as they've missed less than 10 days.

      47districts have applied as of last Friday, but because of this week's storm the ArkansasDepartment of Education expects more districts to apply. Thestate's board of education is expected to approve or deny requests later thismonth.