News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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January 7, 2014

UPDATE: Vigo County schools will remain closed Wednesday

A winter storm that dropped 10 inches of snow Sunday on Vigo County, making travel dangerous and at times impossible, will keep local schools closed for a third straight day on Wednesday.

Dan Tanoos, superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp., indicates that impassible roads coupled with snow-packed school parking lots are reasons for the closing.

He drove the roads today and has spoken to custodians, principals and maintenance staff.

Maintenance personnel are having trouble clearing parking lots, and principals have said that roads leading to schools are not cleared well enough to get to school. “It’s just going to be a challenge for us to have school,” Tanoos said this morning. “It’s still not safe.”

According to Glenda Ritz, state superintendent of public instruction, schools that canceled classes Monday and today because of the weather can apply for a waiver so they don’t have to make up the missed days.

Otherwise, schools have to make up the days or face a severe financial penalty.

The waiver is for the extreme cold, not for snow, Tanoos said.

He also will apply for a waiver for Wednesday but is not sure it will be granted because temperatures will be warmer. The school district has used one built-in snow makeup day and has two left. If no waiver is granted for Wednesday, the district will have to use a second snow makeup day built into the calendar in May.

Tanoos hopes to conduct school on Thursday, although a delay may be needed. “We have to come back sometime,” he said. “We have to realize, we’re in Terre Haute, Ind., and sometimes we have these conditions.”

The district will provide overtime to some of its general services employees so they can get trucks ready this evening and hit the parking lots again Wednesday.

Temperatures never climbed above zero Monday, when wind chills plummeted to minus 30 degrees F or colder, eliminating the possibility of using salt on roadways. Temperatures are expected to moderate today and climb into the upper 20s tomorrow.

Revisit www.tribstar.com and see Wednesday’s Tribune-Star for more details.

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