Schools Still In Limbo With Snow Days Piling Up

A snow storm in mid-April brings on even more school closings for an area already strapped by snow days.

Sunday’s snowfall forced many schools to at least delay the start of class in the morning but there were still a handful that had to cancel the entire day.

Districts already trying to make up for the winter just have another day tacked on.

“Odd, peculiar, extreme, obscene.”

Just a few of the words teachers and administrators use to describe the weather this winter. Snow days piling up and pushing back the end of the school year, to a yet still unknown date.

“The community is really impacted by the last day of school,” says Steve Locke, superintendent of Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, “Teenagers have jobs, teams have sports camps, there is Vacation Bible School. There are all kinds of community programs that really look at that second week of June as being the cut off date.”

Now school will most likely run to late June. In the Mecosta-Osceola ISD, Morley-Stanwood already has 21 snow days, Chippewa Hills is at 22, Evart has 21 while both Big Rapids and Reed City have used 24.

Two bills in Lansing could potentially alleviate a week or more of those days but the bills are hung up in the Capitol.

“Not having a definitive answer from our legislature has left us in a little bit of a limbo so we’re looking at trying to schedule through a couple different scenarios,” says Locke.

As they wait, they figure out what they can learn from the winter, from building in added relief days to the schedule or changing how the bus system runs, this winter was wild but could happen again.

“We don’t want to be totally dismissive of this year as an anomaly that will never repeat itself,” says Locke, “At the same time, we have to be able to look at the way we planned out this year.”

Nothing has come easy so far but there’s still time to pass the test for a successful year.

“I think we made the best out of a really peculiar situation,” says Locke.