Students in the Carroll County School District enjoyed an extended President’s Day after last week’s ice storm turned their one day off into five. However, they weren’t completely off the hook with those who were able doing virtual work.
Superintendent Jim Ray said they were carefully watching the news, but after seeing the freeze Monday, it wasn’t a hard decision at all.
“We go through the process of watching the forecast, but after seeing what was on the ground Monday, it wasn’t a hard call,” he said. “Anytime there is a definite warning when there is inclement weather, it means there’s a high percentage of it happening and we’re always going to lean toward safety.”
He said they took it one day at a time, and he was in constant contact with DeWitt Cobbins, the Transportation Director for the district.
“They’ve ridden the roads and have seen the conditions. We didn’t run buses yesterday. Yesterday, you could’ve walked outside and thought the highways are fine, but the back roads were still pretty rough. And it was still too dangerous for us to run the buses on the roads,” he said.
Ray said he’s never experience weather conditions like this in his career as an educator.
“We’ve had snow days here or there, but they only last one to two days, two at the most and that’s usually due to the thawing process. But, no, I haven’t experience it where we were out over two days in a row,” he said. “I’ve heard about the ice storm of ’94, I don’t know how it affected Carrollton and Winona, but I know it hit the Delta pretty bad. I was in Louisville then, so I don’t think it was that bad for me. I can’t remember it being this bad.”
Many are wondering if students will have to make up days from the snow day or if they will have a Spring Break. Ray said because of COVID, the Mississippi Department of Education granted 10 days to be forgiven.
“Students have to go 180 days and teachers have to have 187 with seven of those being professional development. But, with COVID, they granted 10 days to be forgiven.”
He said when Gov. Tate Reeves declared several hot sports in the state and told them they couldn’t start school for 10 days, those days had to be forgiven.
He said this year, MDE decided to forgive 10 days for all school districts.
“Before COVID, it wasn’t like this. You were going to have to make up those days somehow, but I don’t think we’ll have to look at Spring Break. But, I’ll have to take it before the board, and they’ll decide on it at our next board meeting.”
Ray said they were fortunate not to have experienced any issues during the ice storm. He said their buildings were checked before they could run buses again and he hadn’t heard of any issues.