Schools out Friday, four snow days left

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Marshall County Schools are closed Friday, according to the director of schools who spoke after touring back roads on Thursday afternoon.

"We have some roads that are awful," Director Roy Dukes said while driving to Lewisburg from the Belfast area. "I've been on a couple of roads where it's still just wide enough for one car.

"But, I will say that the Marshall County Road Department is doing an excellent job," he concluded, agreeing that plowing and salting oil-and-chip roads would do more damage than good.

A majority of the county-maintained roads have a surface of oil and chip.

As for how many snow days are left, Dukes said, School in Marshall County lasts 30 minutes per day longer than in some other systems, which results in an accumulation of 13 days.

Three of those are scheduled for professional development, leaving 10 for snow days.

As of the end of Thursday, Jan. 13, there were five snow days left. Now, it's four.

If the system runs out of snow days, it would have to use a holiday, such as Presidents Day or Good Friday, or take one or more days off the spring break, he explained.

A change in the school calendar requires school board approval, so it's already too late to have school Monday, a holiday to celebrate the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If the county's officials can't fit in enough days, they could ask the State Department of Education for a waiver, but if it was not granted, the system would have to add days to the end of the year.

Another factor to be considered is when school is dismissed early. If it's after 11:15 a.m., as it has been once or twice this year due to weather concerns, the day is counted as a full school day.

Thursday, Dukes said he's seen bad road conditions because of snow on Fishing Ford Road, Liberty Valley Road, Round Hill Road and others.