Schools figure out how to make up snow days - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Schools figure out how to make up snow days

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NEWARK, AR (KAIT) – Dozens of school districts canceled classes last week due to the winter storm that left behind inches of ice on roadways all across Northeast Arkansas.

With warmer temperatures and sunshine in the forecast, the roads have all cleared now, and school is back in session. Many administrators are now trying to figure out how to make up all the snow days.

At the Cedar Ridge School District in Newark, the students there missed an unprecedented six days of school due to the inclement weather. Superintendent Dr. Ann Webb now has to do a little math so that the students get the full amount of days this school year.

"I was talking with the bus transportation supervisor this morning, and I don't think we've ever been out six days in a row for weather before," Dr. Webb said. "I think this is my 32nd year, and I don't remember ever being out for that long for weather."

Dr. Webb said she had no choice but to cancel school because even though the main roads cleared quickly, the rural roads that cover much of the district did not.

"We just couldn't get over the roads, and it wouldn't be a safe journey for all of my people," she said. "I just couldn't take that chance."

That's why one of the superintendent's first tasks when the school reopened Monday was to scour the calendar to figure out how to make up all six days. She first decided to shave off two days from the students' Christmas break.

"Two of our days will be January 2 and 3, so there will not be a complete two-week Christmas break," she said. "That will be two of the days."

The students will make up a third day on President's Day, but the district will also have to tack on an extra three days at the end of the school year.

"Right now, we're looking at getting out on May 29," Dr. Webb said.

"I saw a teacher this morning," she added, "and I said, ‘Did you enjoy your break last week?' She said, ‘As much as you can, knowing that we're taking away part of our summer."

She said it's strange to already have days to make up this early in December when the wintry weather usually does not cause problems until January or February. That worries her that this winter season could get worse.

"I think this is going to be a hard winter," she said.

Dr. Webb added that she has talked with a few superintendents in neighboring districts to find out how they're planning to deal with their own snow days. She said students and their parents should know in the next few days how the school calendar has changed because of the weather last week. 

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