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Cold weather delays and cancellations – school systems work to make up lost time

RAINSVILLE, Ala. -- School superintendents across the Valley have either closed or delayed school on multiple occasions during this cold snap, and after that decision is made then comes the task of making the hours up.

DeKalb County Schools were back in session on Tuesday. Icy weather on Monday prompted school leaders to cancel school for the day. "In the area that we live in, we're going to have icy and snowy conditions at some point. We have two mountains that we have to deal with," said Assistant Superintendent Brian Thomas.

Once a decision is made, then comes the task of planning to make up those hours. "We do expect it, and in our calendar this year we actually have some opportunities to make up days should that be the case."

Thomas says the delays are planned for. "Most school systems either put in snow days or weather days into their calendar, or they look at their instructional hours."

The systems try to avoid putting in days at the end of the year or taking up holidays. Rather, they have the option of amending the school day to increase minutes, which will add up and make up lost time. Or, they can convert some teacher work days to school days. DeKalb County Schools notifies parents as soon as the school day or calendar changes.

"We try to be quick to respond, get information out there. We use social media, Facebook, our website. We also have a call out system that calls parents and lets them know what's going on," Thomas explained.

When making a decision to close or delay school, school leaders work closely with emergency management officials and talk with other area superintendents. They have to report the delay or cancellation and how it will be made up to the state.