BURGAW -- The upcoming holiday break will be cut short for Malpass Corner Elementary School students. They have nine days to make up after a fire closed the school last week. Monday night, the Pender County School Board approved the make up days proposed by Community Services Director Joyce Keith. "There was just a lot of discussion and thought put into which days should actually become the student make up days," said Keith. The make up days will be December 22, 23, 29, 30 and 31, which takes five days away from Christmas break. March 6 will also be a make up day, which was originally a teacher work day. The final three make up days are April 6, 7, and 8 - the first three days of spring break. Pender County Superintendent Allison Sholar said, "We also have to take into consideration any bad weather we may have in the winter time and giving us some time to handle that if that occurs." Students and teachers have been at home since the December first fire, which a ten year-old boy is charged with starting in a bathroom. Sholar said if students had been out of school for a longer period of time, school leaders would have come up with a backup plan. "If it's a week or so, it's easier to just do what we're doing," she said, citing a lack of bus transporation needed to move children across the county. Sholar said school officials wouldn't rule out using alternate locations for classes if something similar ever happened in the future. For now, she thanks parents for their patience. "We're trying to do everything we can to get your children back in school, we want them back in school, but at the same time we want the best, cleanest environment for them to be back in school," she said. Malpass Corner is expected to re-open Monday, December 15.
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