EARLIER: Missed school days to be added at end of year

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By Walt Reichert


Assuming old man winter goes away and stays away, students in Shelby County public schools will go until June 5 to make up lost days.

Duanne Puckett, community relations coordinator for the schools, said the six days missed so far, and any days that may yet be lost to winter weather, will be added to the end of the year.

Puckett said a revised school calendar with make-up days added will go before the school board for approval at its March 26 meeting.

The schools got an unscheduled winter break last week thanks to a snow and ice storm that socked the area, leaving thousands without power and making roadways dangerous. The schools had also missed a day because of weather in December.

The schools managed to open on a 2-hour delayed basis Monday even though many of the schools in the region, including Jefferson County public schools, stayed closed.

That delayed opening was to allow bus drivers to make their rounds in daylight, said Kerry Whitehouse, assistant superintendent for operations. The decision to open the schools Monday came after five school officials drove the roads in the county on Sunday, he said.

Low tree limbs and power lines along with poor turnarounds were found in some areas. Whitehouse reported that three buses got stuck in turnarounds Monday.

No school was without power for more than 10 hours after the ice storm, though central office was without electricity for two days. Minor leaks were found in some schools because of the melting snow and ice.

Clear Creek Elementary had been designated as an emergency shelter from Wednesday through Sunday of last week for residents of Shelby, Henry and Spencer counties who were without power. The Stratton Center was also used as an emergency shelter.

Dates for CATS and AP testing at the schools will not change because of lost snow days, Puckett said the only impact the snow days will have on the testing is that teachers will lose some instructional time before the tests.

Kerry Fannin, assistant superintendent for student achievement, said the teachers will be able to make adjustments, if necessary, to cover the state curriculum that will be tested in spite of the missed school days.