Schools Could Be Forgiven For Missed Weather Days

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – This has been a winter to remember across the Tennessee Valley, wreaking havoc on the school calendar with numerous school delays and closings.

But there is a plan in place at the state level that could help systems that have been forced to close because of the weather.

Classes at Florence High School went on as normal Tuesday, but the drastic temperature drop expected overnight forced system administrators to close schools for Wednesday.

“The one thing that we don’t want to do is put our students, our families and our employees at risk at any time,” stated Florence Schools Superintendent Janet Womack.

Womack said the potential for black ice on Wednesday morning is enough to justify in her mind the need to shut down.

According to Womack, with the governor issuing a state of emergency, school systems will be able to petition the State Superintendent of Education to forgive the days missed during a state of emergency.

“On the form that we submit we have to justify exactly why we made the decision that we did,” said Womack. “So, everything must be backed up by evidence as it should because those instructional minutes are crucial to our continued success.”

Success that Womack said she takes very seriously, but she added the safety of those that attend a Florence city school is far more important.

“Our goal is always to go to school every instructional day for the full length of the day,” explained Womack. “But at the same time, if we are putting our families at risk, then we do not feel that is right and we need to make calls based on that.”

A decision that Womack said weighs heavily on her shoulders.