LIMA — Snow, ice and fog has caused area schools to be delayed or closed over the past few days and weeks requiring schools to have make-up days.
Effective July 1, 2014, Ohio’s public schools transitioned from minimum number of days required for calendar school year to minimum numbers of hours. In grades 1 to 6, students are required to attend 910 hours of school during for the entire school year. 1,001 hours are required for students in grades 7 to 12. A change from previous law is that two-hour delays, early dismissals, and professional development days count towards hours missed for a school year.
Lima schools were closed Monday and Tuesday due to weather and the district missed a total of nine school days for the 2018-2019 school year as of Tuesday, according to Superintendent Jill Ackerman.
Make-up dates that have been established for days already missed are May 31, June 3, 4 and 5. Three of the days missed were for wind chills and the rest were for snow and ice. Last year, the school district missed four days due to inclement weather.
Ackerman said the school system does text alerts, Facebook and Twitter to keep the community up to date on school closures.
“We know they need to make arrangements for their kids so we try to notify them as soon as we can of closures and delays,” Ackerman said.
Students can miss up to five days without them being required to be made up.
“We have kids who walk up to a mile and a half to school, so a lot of times wind chills become an issue for us,” Ackerman said. She said this week the issue was the condition of the side roads with ice that caused the school system to close.
Allen County Educational Service Center is cancelling its three remaining 2-hour early dismissals and replacing them with full days of school.
Nick Langhals, Fort Jennings Schools superintendent, said the school is on the hour calendar, but it has a local policy that allows for five full calamity days of school to be missed without being required to be made up. For the 2018-2019 school year, students have missed a total of eight days due to inclement weather and will be required to make up three of those days. If there are additional days off due to weather students will be required to make-up those dates. Make-up dates for already missed school days have been scheduled for Feb. 18, April 18 and May 23.
“This is the first time in awhile we have missed this many days. We usually hover around the four and five missed days,” Langhals said. He said the safety of students, staff and bus drivers is important.
Scott Mangas, Ottoville superintendent and elementary school principal, said Ottoville also has eight missed school days due to inclement weather. Make up days will be Feb. 18, April 18 and 22. The school also will be in full session on Friday.
“Roads are icy and slushy, and when you have the majority of kids driving here and to our Career Center to put 16, 17 and 18-year-olds on the road is not a good idea,” Mangas said.
Don Horstman, Ottawa-Glandorf superintendent, said the school system has had eight missed days. Make-up days will be Feb. 19 and two days at the end of the school year.
“This isn’t typical and we usually don’t go through this many days,” Horstman said. The safety of the students is what drives the school to delay or close the school, he added.
Bill Ruane, St. Marys superintendent, said the school system has missed eight days due to weather. Make-up dates are Friday and Feb. 24, and a tentative date of May 28 has been set.
“We know we go over the hours that are needed by the state and our board adheres to keeping true to after five days of missing school that we make them up,” Ruane said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.