The Herald Bulletin

January 17, 2014

Snow days affecting school calendars

Spring break may be shorter, end of school year later

By Ken de la Bastide and Traci Moyer
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The extra week off from school during the snowstorm that started the new year means students and teachers are facing a shortened spring break or additional days in May.

All the school systems in Madison County saw a delay in the return to classes following the Christmas holiday break the week of Jan. 6.

Students are required by the state to attend 180 days of classes each school year. Days missed during the winter months are generally required to be scheduled later in the year.

The Indiana Department of Education has announced that schools will be given a waiver for the first two days of the missed week of school because of the snow and below-zero temperatures.

With two months of winter weather remaining, the number of days required to be made up could possibly increase.

That could jeopardize family vacations or travel plans.

Lora Mullins, a travel planner with Pendleton Travel Co., 111 N. Pendleton Ave., said no one has canceled their spring break travel plans — yet.

"I don't know if they will wait until later or what," she said.

Mullins said she has been swamped by the number of people planning to vacation over spring break.

"People are traveling to warm places," she said with a laugh. "They are done with the snow for now. I think Indiana has given us our fill, that's for sure."

Unless full coverage insurance was purchased when the travel plans were made, Mullins said people who opt not to take their vacations will lose their money.

"It really depends on what insurance they have," she said. "If they did not have insurance that covers everything it is only covered for certain reasons."

Making up a school snow day is not included in most travel insurance cancellation policies, Mullins said.

Students with Anderson Community Schools will be attending classes on Monday, originally scheduled as a day off for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and there will be classes on Friday, March 21, the day preceding spring break.

Should ACS have to make up a third day, interim superintendent Tim Edsell said classes will take place on Monday, Feb. 17, which is President’s Day.

Joe Buck, superintendent of the South Madison Community School Corp., said there are seven make-up days built into the 2013-14 school calendar.

Buck said students will be required to attend classes on MLK’s birthday, President’s Day and the first five days of the two-week spring break.

Bobby Fields, superintendent for the Frankton-Lapel Community Schools, said Thursday the school system has applied for a three-day waiver from the Indiana Department of Education.

“The county was still under a travel restriction for three days,” Fields said. “It would not have been legal for our bus drivers to be on the roads.”

He said Frankton-Lapel students will be attending classes on President’s Day, with any remaining make-up days scheduled for the end of the school year, set to start on Wednesday, May 28.

Alice Johnson, superintendent of the Alexandria Community Schools, said all snow make-up days will be added to the end of the school year. The last day of school had been scheduled to be Tuesday, May 27. Alexandria students will be in school Monday and on President’s Day.

Follow Ken de la Bastide @KendelaBastide on Twitter, or call 640-4863.

Snow makeup days Most districts are using Monday, Jan. 20, as a snow makeup day. Schools in session Monday are: Alexandria Community Schools, Anderson Christian School, Anderson Community Schools, Elwood Community Schools, Frankton-Lapel Community Schools, Liberty Christian School, Madison-Grant United School Corporation, South Madison Community Schools Not in session: Anderson Preparatory Academy