Mt. Vernon Register-News

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February 8, 2014

Snow takes a toll on calendars

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Also, the district is considering holding school on the Pulaski Day holiday in March, as well as on a planned teacher in-service day at the end of the year, Harris said. Neither option, however, has been decided upon, he said.

Ina Grade School took its ninth snow day of the year Friday out of a total of five that had been built into the calendar.

Superintendent Monte Jo Clark said the school's strategy moving forward will likely be to apply for Act of God status for the extra days.

She also said the lost preparation time for this spring's Illinois Standards Achievement Test is a hardship for the school.

“We haven't had one of these (winters) in a long time,” Clark said. “It's disappointing and a little frustrating.”

Rome Grade School has used eight snow days so far this year, but has 10 emergency days built into its schedule.

Dwain Baldridge, Rome's superintendent, said the district's calendar shows both the latest date the school could let out if all the snow days were used and the earliest date if no such days were used.

This way, parents and school staff are aware of these potential end dates and can plan accordingly, he said.

“They know from the beginning the earliest we get out and the latest we get out,” Baldridge said.

Even so, Baldridge said using snow days can cause difficulties as it leads to the cancellation of extra-curricular activities. This week, for example, two Scholar Bowl events at Rome Grade School had to be canceled due to the weather, he said.

“When we cancel school, we don't have any of those events,” Baldridge said. “It causes a disruption, that's for sure.”

District 80 school officials were unavailable for comment for this story.

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