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Area schools are running out of snow days.
The snow and frigid cold have forced most local schools in both Ohio and Michigan to remain closed for all or most of this week. Under most circumstances, Ohio school districts can close for five “calamity days” per year without having to make up days. Most schools have been closed four days as of Thursday.
So far, the closures have forced districts only to shuffle testing schedules, but if they must close more than their five calamity days, they'll have to make up the classroom time. School districts took to automated phone calls or their Web sites to get word out to parents about their plans.
For instance, Jim Fritz, superintendent of the Anthony Wayne school district, posted a message on the district's Web site to tell parents and students that contingency days would be on June 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11.
“We appreciate your patience during this unusual weather event,” he wrote.
Toledo Public Schools is flipping a teacher work day originally scheduled for Jan. 17 and a regular school day on Jan. 21, meaning students will have to go to school on Jan. 17 now. High school exams were also refigured, Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault said, to give students more time to prepare. Students will now have a four-day weekend, since TPS is closed on Jan. 20 for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday and on Jan. 21 for the teacher work day.
Perrysburg Schools pushed next week's exams back a day to give the students review time. Perrysburg High School Principal Michael Short said a few questions may be left off this semester's exams and put on next semester's.
Washington Local Superintendent Patrick Hickey said that the district is still deciding whether it needs to reschedule exams to give students more preparation time. And while roads were more or less clear by Thursday, many sidewalks in Toledo had not been shoveled, which would have forced students to walk in busy streets. Bus drivers were also having difficulty seeing around corners at many intersections, Mr. Hickey said, which further put students in danger.
Students “are going to have to go up over mountains of snow, and we just don't want them walking down the road,” he said.
That means future delays and closures may be coming if walking routes are still obstructed.
In Michigan, schools must provide at least 1,098 instruction hours and at least 170 total school days.
The first six days of closures can count toward those hours and days, but if schools remain closed for more than those six days, the time must be made up.
Staff writer Matt Thompson contributed to this report.