Classes end Friday for Dorchester 2, Berkeley schools

Friday will be the last day of school in Berkeley and Dorchester counties, after all.

Both districts had planned to end school this week, but hit a hitch when they were required to add weather makeup days at the end of the year, a move that made teachers and families unhappy and that officials called an unnecessary expense.

On Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley signed a law that allows the districts to count the early release and teacher workdays converted into makeup days, making Friday - again - the last day of school.

Friday will be a full day in Berkeley and a half day for Dorchester 2.

In Dorchester, teachers will have a workday on Monday and staff development day Tuesday.

Berkeley employees will have a workday Monday and either Saturday or Tuesday, decided by each school.

Charleston County, which was not part of the measure, will end with a half day for students and a full day for staff on June 6.

The last-minute change in the calendar came after state education officials said only days scheduled as makeup days could be used. Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester 2 all converted other days to regular school days to avoid using the scheduled end-of-year makeup days, which they said would be poorly attended.

District 2 school board member Sam Clark asked state lawmakers for help and State Reps. Chris Murphy and Jenny Horne sponsored a bill that waived the makeup requirements for the district.

Berkeley County later asked to be added to the bill, as did a couple of districts in Spartanburg County.

Lowcountry schools were closed for ice and power outages on Jan. 29 and 30, and Feb. 12 and 13. Dorchester 2 also was closed Feb. 14, when Berkeley had a scheduled teacher workday and Charleston started late.