Calamity day vote put on hold

SIDNEY, Ohio (WDTN) – The brutal winter weather has forced many districts in the state to cancel classes ten or more days already.

Each is allowed five calamity days, or snow days, by state law.

So far, Sidney City Schools has closed its doors seven times.

“It’s not like it’s all concentrated in a one or two-week period.  It’s been the entire winter and I think that’s what I think, takes us to a different level that I have not experienced in my time in 40 years of being an educator,” explains Superintendent John Scheu.

Scheu was the only superintendent in the state to appear before the Ohio House Education Committee two weeks ago to show his support for a bill which would add calamity days to help schools cope with all of the cancellations.

“I talked to them about some of the individual, the personal situations we’ve had to deal with in Sidney, such as frozen water pipes, floods in the buildings, the wind chill factor, having kids walk to school when it’s minus 20 and below,” explains Scheu.

Some parents are also hoping it passes.

“We probably need to add some days because it’s not the kids’ fault that the weather is like this.  So, I do believe, I’m for it.  I think they need to add a couple of days to help with this,” comments parent Annette Lochard.

But, the district isn’t waiting around for a decision,  it’s taking steps now to get kids caught up.

There are five make-up days built into the calendar, one is President’s Day, the rest are tacked onto the end of the school year.

So, students will go to school next Monday.

“We can’t assume 100 percent that the bill is  going to pass, even though we feel that there is definitely a need for the General Assembly to come through and help school districts,” explains Scheu.

A spokesperson with the Ohio House tells 2 NEWS that lawmakers wanted more time to review whether three or four calamity days are needed and how much it will cost individual districts.

So the vote has been pushed back to next Wednesday.

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