Washington County schools struggling with calamity days

MARIETTA — Water in its various forms — snow, sleet, ice and floods — in the first two months of the year has put Washington County school districts against the wall by exhausting the number of days available for closure.

Marietta City Schools had weather-related closures 11 days in January and February. Belpre City Schools closed for eight, Fort Frye and Wolf Creek for nine, Warren for 10 and Frontier for 11.

Marietta announced Wednesday it will run two make-up days during spring break, March 12 and March 13. Frontier has scheduled three make-up days, March 29 and April 3, which will shorten its spring break by two days, and May 29 at the end of the school year.

Warren exceeded its limit by one day and has scheduled an extra day at the end of the school year, June 1, to make that up.

If any of the districts have to cancel school between now and the end of the year, they also will have to shorten spring break or lengthen the school year.

Belpre Superintendent Tony Dunn said his district is at its limit, having closed eight days, one of those in October when school was called off because of smoke from the plastics depot fire in Parkersburg. Any further closures will be taken out of spring break, he said.

“Lord help us if we need them,” he said.

Fort Frye Local Schools closed for nine days, five of which were accounted for in the calendar and three of which were blizzard bag days, superintendent Stephanie Starcher said.

“Starting with school closing day No. 9, Fort Frye makes up days,” she said. “Our first make-up day was Monday, Feb. 19.”

That day was scheduled as a holiday, Presidents’ Day.

“If we miss more days due to emergency closing, the designated make-up days, in this order, are April 3, and May 29, 30 and 31,” she said.

Wolf Creek Local Schools missed nine days of instruction because of weather but made one up, as Fort Frye did, by holding school on Presidents’ Day. Superintendent Doug Baldwin said if another make-up day becomes necessary, it will be held April 3.

Frontier Local Schools will shorten its spring break by two days and add a day at the end of the year, superintendent Brain Rentsch said.

“The make-up days are March 29, April 3 and May 29,” he said.


At a Glance

Scheduled make-up days

* Feb. 19: Fort Frye, Wolf Creek

* March 12: Marietta

* March 13: Marietta

* March 29: Frontier

* April 3: Frontier

* May 29: Frontier

Make-up days possible if needed

* March 26: Belpre

* March 27: Belpre

* March 28: Belpre

* April 2: Wolf Creek

* April 3: Fort Frye

* May 29: Fort Frye

* May 30: Fort Frye

* May 31: Fort Frye