NEWARK, AR (KAIT) – Dozens of school districts canceledclasses last week due to the winter storm that left behind inches of ice onroadways all across Northeast Arkansas.
With warmer temperatures and sunshine in the forecast, theroads have all cleared now, and school is back in session. Many administratorsare now trying to figure out how to make up all the snow days.
At the Cedar Ridge School District in Newark, the studentsthere missed an unprecedented six days of school due to the inclement weather. SuperintendentDr. Ann Webb now has to do a little math so that the students get the fullamount of days this school year.
"I was talking with the bus transportation supervisor thismorning, and I don't think we've ever been out six days in a row for weatherbefore," Dr. Webb said. "I think this is my 32nd year, and I don't rememberever being out for that long for weather."
Dr. Webb said she had no choice but to cancel school becauseeven though the main roads cleared quickly, the rural roads that cover much ofthe district did not.
"We just couldn't get over the roads, and it wouldn't be asafe journey for all of my people," she said. "I just couldn't take thatchance."
That's why one of the superintendent's first tasks when theschool reopened Monday was to scour the calendar to figure out how to make upall 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 notbe a complete two-week Christmas break," she said. "That will be two of thedays."
The students will make up a third day on President's Day, butthe district will also have to tack on an extra three days at the end of theschool 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, 'Didyou enjoy your break last week?' She said, 'As much as you can, knowing that we'retaking away part of our summer."
She said it's strange to already have days to make up thisearly in December when the wintry weather usually does not cause problems untilJanuary 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 fewsuperintendents in neighboring districts to find out how they're planning todeal with their own snow days. She said students and their parents should knowin the next few days how the school calendar has changed because of the weatherlast week.