News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 7, 2014

Vigo Schools hope to reopen Thursday

Parking lots, sidewalks still need to be cleared of snow, Tanoos says

TERRE HAUTE — A winter storm that dropped 10 inches of snow Sunday on Vigo County, making travel dangerous and at times impossible, is keeping local schools closed today for a third straight day.

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

He drove the roads Tuesday and spoke to custodians, principals and maintenance staff.

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

According to Glenda Ritz, state superintendent of public instruction, schools that canceled classes Monday and Tuesday 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 today but is not sure it will be granted because temperatures will be warmer, rising into the 20s.

The district has three snow makeup days built into the school calendar on May 9, 12 and 23. So far, one day of school has been canceled due to weather and one makeup day must be used.

If no waiver is granted for today, the school district must use a second makeup day.

Once snow makeup days are used, additional makeup days are typically added to the end of the scheduled school year.

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 planned to provide overtime to some of its general services employees Tuesday so they could get trucks ready in the evening and hit the parking lots again today.

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