Impact of school closures snowballs


Tribune Staff Writer

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Built-in makeup days will help most local school districts cover days missed last week because of snow and cold temperatures.

In addition, students will not have to worry about losing any of their spring break, school officials said.

As of Monday, Seymour Community Schools had six days to make up as a result of canceling classes. A winter storm dropped 6 inches of snow on the area early Feb. 16 and another 4 inches midweek. Temperatures then plummeted, reaching a record low of minus 14 on Friday morning.

School for most Jackson County students was canceled again Monday because of sub-zero temperatures.

Brownstown Central Superintendent Greg Walker said Monday his original intent was to call for a two-hour delay because of the cold. But he decided to cancel school after driving out in the western part of the county where there are a lot of hilly roads.

“Some of the county roads in the Clearspring area were the worst they have been,” he said. “There was no way we were going to put buses out in that area.”

Walker said he planned to visit the area Monday afternoon to see how county highway crews were doing before making a decision on canceling school today. He hoped the sun helped road crews with their efforts.

“Even when it’s cold, the sun melts some of it,” he said.

Originally, Seymour students were to make up a previously missed day Feb. 5 on Presidents Day, but they now will be in session April 3, which is Good Friday, and April 6, the day after Easter, Superintendent Rob Hooker said.

The other four days will be added after Memorial Day at the end of the school year from May 26 to 29. That leaves no possible makeup days before Seymour High School’s graduation, which is set for May 31.

With still a month to go until the first day of spring, Hooker said other options may have to be discussed.

Last year, when the corporation had to make up 15 days, officials chose to add one hour at the end of each school day instead of extending the school year after graduation or delaying graduation.

Hooker said he plans to bring the issue up for discussion at the March 10 school board meeting.

Classes for Brownstown Central students have been canceled six times this school year too. Three days were built into the calendar — Feb. 16, April 10 and April 13 — for weather closures. A winter storm hit the area Feb. 16, forcing the closing of schools that day.

Walker said Brownstown Central students will attend classes on the two remaining built-in days.

He said the others will be tacked on to the end of the school year, meaning that, without any more closures, the last student day will be June 1.

Commencement will still be on the morning of May 23, and seniors will have to come back after Memorial Day to make up the five missed days, Walker said.

Medora Community Schools plan to make up two missed days on April 24 and 27. Those days were built into the calendar, Superintendent Roger Bane said.

There also are two days after the final day of school on May 27 that can be used to make up missed days. Any additional makeup days needed will begin June 1.

“We can get to our 180 days that way,” Bane said.

The state requires schools to provide 180 days of instruction.

Students at Medora also didn’t attend classes Feb. 16, but it was Presidents Day, so they already were scheduled to have that day off.

Crothersville Community Schools’ calendar also had students off for the holiday, so they also need to make up only five days.

Superintendent Terry Goodin said Friday that two built-in snow days, April 6 and May 1, are in the calendar.

“We’ll have to make the other three days up,” Goodin said.

He said he doesn’t worry too much about missed days.

“We have to deal with what Mother Nature gives us,” he said.

Goodin said his biggest concern is the safety of students and everyone else.

“We don’t want to put anyone at risk,” he said.

He’s also optimistic that the weather will improve soon.

“Around the end of February, things tend to start getting a tad warmer,” Goodin said.

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Makeup days for area school districts:

Brownstown Central Schools — April 10 and 13, May 26-29; June 1

Crothersville Community Schools — April 6 and May 1, 25-27

Medora Community Schools — April 24 and 27; May 28 and 29; June 1

Seymour Community Schools — April 3 and 6; May 26 to 29


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