A “School Closed” sign was hung on the south-facing door at Franklin Elementary Friday morning for the third day in a row. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
A “School Closed” sign was hung on the south-facing door at Franklin Elementary Friday morning for the third day in a row. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Most area schools marked off three calamity days this past week. Following two days of sub-zero temperatures and record wind chills on Wednesday and Thursday, the area received four inches of snow overnight Thursday leaving behind a winter wonderland and dangerous roads Friday morning.

Ohio schools have five calamity days and many saw numbers 6 and 7 this week.

So far, Delphos City School students don’t need to make up the missed time as they have plenty of hours toward the state-mandated number. Students in grades K-6 are required to have 910 hours of instruction with Franklin and Landeck students marking 988 hours; and students in grades 7-12 need 1,001, with Jefferson middle- and high-schoolers at 1,012.

“We are following the state rules,” Delphos City Schools Interim Superintendent Faith Cummins said Friday.

While Delphos City Schools won’t utilize makeup days for students but staff will participate in professional development, including curriculum mapping, on Feb. 18 and April 22. Their contract require them to make up days after five missed days.

St. John’s students took home a pair of Blizzard Bags or were given online assignments on Tuesday. The Ohio Department of Education offers three Blizzard Bag days in addition to the five calamity days.

“When we start getting close to five calamity days we start preparing the Blizzard Bags,” St. John’s Elementary Principal Nate Stant said. “The work is close to what students would be doing in their core classes if they were in school. We don’t want less instruction than we’ve had in the past.”

High school students also have preassigned work in case school is canceled.

“This is an opportunity to still do work,” High School Principal Adam Lee said. “We also have a lot of online technology and teaching tools we can use on those days. They just miss out on the personal touch of coming to school.”

Students have two weeks to turn in their Blizzard Bag work.

“We hope they are doing the assignments on the missed days but we know they are kids,” Lee said.

Ottoville staff and students will have to give up Presidents’ Day and one day of Easter Break. Superintendent Scott Mangas is ready for some better weather.

“I am tired of this winter and as far as I’m concerned we don’t need any more snow or freezing temperatures,” Mangas added.

Calamity days are not given up lightly.

“When we are anticipating bad weather, groups of superintendents will start talking the evening before,” Delphos City Schools Interim Superintendent Faith Cummins said Friday. “We are all up before 5 a.m. in the mornings to go out and do a preliminary assessment the roads and we do a lot of talking back and forth about how the roads are in the surrounding area. We make another round later to see if we need to cancel. We want to be in session if we can but safety is always in the forefront.”

Putnam County superintendents all have MARCS radios and also stay in close contact in the mornings when delay and cancellation decisions need to be made.