Jessica Brown reports:
Arctic weather today and Tuesday is bringing yet more rounds of school closures and delays – and more frustration for working parents.
“It’s just a necessary evil,” said Dan Colpi, whose three children attend Lakota schools in Butler County. He works from home so his schedule is a bit more flexible than some parents, but closures still have an impact.
“It does get difficult with younger children. They have to have constant supervision. “It’s a much harsher winter this year. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather.”
Although Laktoa had class as normal Monday, Tuesday remains a big question mark. The district already has had seven snow days this year, more than any of the other large districts in Southwest Ohio. The closures have forced it extend the year into summer break by at least one day so far.
Lakota isn’t alone. In fact, the snow and brutal cold this winter have caused so many school closures statewide that Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday proposed a one-time increase in the number of days schools can take off because of bad weather.
Currently schools are allotted up to five snow days – termed “calamity days” before they have to make them up on holidays or in the summer.
Many local districts, are at or near that limit.
“If they exceed it and have to extend the school year it can wreak havoc with schools budgets and schedules,” Kasich said. “Giving schools a few extra snow days this year will be helpful and let everyone stay focused on the top priority when weather hits, keeping kids safe.”
The last time this was an issue was in 2011. Kasich enacted legislation that year to increase the number of calamity days from three to five.
Kentucky law doesn’t address calamity days. Schools there must automatically make up any weather-related closures. Most districts incorporate extra makeup days into their calendars every year for that possibility.