Schools caught in calamity

WARREN – With many school districts already meeting or exceeding their state-allotted number of calamity days, some districts are pursuing the option of ”blizzard bags” to make up additional days as the onslaught of frigid weather continues.

On Monday, Joseph Badger, Warren City and Champion Local schools voted in favor of submitting resolutions for calamity day alternative make-up plans to the Ohio Department of Education. Champion also approved the option of using a two-hour delay to starting school days if needed after today.

With expected severe cold weather for next week, many local schools will likely go beyond five days this school year.

After today’s closings, Joseph Badger has used all of its calamity days and Warren has used eight, leaving three days for students to make up later. Today is Champion’s fourth calamity day used.

Niles has also used more than five calamity days in the past two months. The Niles school board approved a resolution for an alternative make-up plan last week, and the Maplewood School District and Trumbull Career and Technical Center also are scheduled to meet later this week to consider alternative make-up plans.

The alternative make-up plans, or blizzard bags, allow students to make up missed days by completing homework assignments instead of attending extra days.

Warren Superintendent Michael Notar said if the state department of education approves the blizzard bags, students will be given assignments that they missed while school was closed, which they would have two weeks to complete. The teachers would have three weeks to grade and return the make-up work to the students.

Notar said the resolution passed Monday wouldn’t affect two of the three days it needs to make up. It remains to be seen if ODE will approve the resolutions submitted by the districts and, if so, whether today’s closing will be eligible.

Temperatures are expected to start climbing again Wednesday, with a high near 11 and a low around 5.