PARKERSBURG - Wood County Schools has used nearly all of its allotted snow days, with additional days likely coming out of the district's spring break.
Thursday marked the fifth snow day this year for Wood County Schools. Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services, said six days are built into the end of the school calendar to make up for snow days. Any snow days past those six will be made up by taking days away from this year's spring break, April 18-22.
Wood County Schools clarified Thursday the school system will still be closed Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as it is a national holiday. Both Wood County Christian and Belpre City Schools have announced they will have classes Jan. 17.
An overnight storm Wednesday dropped several inches of snow on the southern part of Wood County, making back roads dangerous and creating unsafe conditions for students. The school system was closed Thursday, the third day this week classes had been canceled due to bad weather.
"It was as much we didn't want students standing outside waiting for the buses, and a fear other vehicles wouldn't be able to stop," Woodward said. "We really wanted to have school today, but it just didn't work out."
Woodward said the school system has to judge road conditions in all parts of the county.
"You may look outside your window and see a completely different picture than what we are seeing in another part of the county," she said. "We are a county school system."
The county has called a Code A on its snow days, which means 200-day contract employees do not report. Instead those paid contract days switch to the end of the school year, she said.
The school system also has to watch the length of the school year. Though the state Legislature last year passed a change in state code to allow districts to set their own start and end dates for the school year, officials did not change a state law which requires service personnel contracts to be fulfilled within 43 weeks of the start of the school year.
"We try to open the largest window we can legally," Woodward said.