Harsh weather leads to significant number of school closings

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OSCODA COUNTY — After a week of harsh weather brought about by the recent polar vortex some schools have been closed for six consecutive days in Oscoda County.

Mio AuSable Superintendent Paul Ciske said this is an unprecedented situation.

“I don’t ever remember a time where we’ve had six consecutive days off in a row,” he said.

Ciske said while the school has had years where it had a similar number of school closings, but those were generally more spread out throughout the year. He said this will definitely have an impact on students classroom performance.

“There will be a lot of reteaching,” Ciske said. “This is like having another Christmas break without knowing it was coming.”

Ciske said his teachers are already planning how to get their students refreshed on the information they may have forgotten. He said he is confident that his teachers know how to best approach their students and deal with the current situation.

As of now, Mio AuSable schools are up to eight snow days this school year. According to state law, schools are only allowed six snow days throughout the year. Once used up the school must extend classes into the summer.

In times of excess cancellations schools are allowed to apply for a waiver from the state that would allow an extra three snow days. Ciske said he is most likely going to apply for the extension. He said if the school does get the waiver, and still ends up with an excess of cancellations, the school will have no choice but to extend into the summer.

Although there have been more cancellations than usual, Ciske said they were all absolutely necessary. He said it’s important not to take the number of recent snow days into account when deciding whether or not to cancel school.

“You try not to let the amount of snow days factor into the decision,” Ciske said. “It’s about whether or not it is safe that day.”

Ciske asked parents to bear with the school as it deals with the harsh weather. He said he understands that it is frustrating that school has been cancelled so much lately, and that once the weather allows, school will be back in session.

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