Calamity day snow plan brings good news for district students

Calamity days allow schools to close without making up lost instructional time.

Ever since the Ohio legislature approved new calamity day legislation, schools districts across the state have altered their calendar to make up the days.

Wednesday night, Washington Local Schools talked about the legislations impact for their school year.

When winter ends Wednesday, school districts like Washington Local Schools won't miss the cold weather.

"It's brutal, totally unprecedented, like we've not seen before. Having 15 days off for calamity days is extremely unusual and hasn't happened in tenure in the school system," explained Assistant Superintendent Cherie Mourlam of Washington Local Schools.

The record setting winter forced school districts throughout Ohio to use up five calamity days set aside from the state. Calamity days allow schools to close without making up lost instructional time.

Legislation passed in Columbus gives districts four extra calamity days after holding school on four other scheduled days off such as holidays or during vacations.

It's good news for school systems, and it gets even better for kids who attend Washington Local.

"For Washington local kids, 1 day is all they have to make up at this point," says Mourlam. That's because the district already had five additional days already built into the school calendar according to district leaders.

Snow days have added up to lost time, but educators are trying to get back.

"The teachers are making really hard to ensure that they're teaching all the content that they need to prepare the students for the testing that's coming up right around the corner," explained Mourlam.

While Spring officially starts Thursday, districts like Washington Local aren't out of the clear just yet. If there's another snow storm or any other situation that forces school to close, that one make up day day could grow.