Local News

Two Local Districts Consider Storm Make-Up Days

MADRAS, OR -- Severe winter weather may be gone for now, but local schools still must contend with the fallout. 

As of Wednesday, Jefferson County 509J lost five full days and had three late-starts. Superintendent Jay Mathisen says it's always a tough decision to close school, but outlying areas in his district have seen icy roads for a week, creating hazardous conditions for buses. Mathisen says his district has a long history of building buffers into the school calendar, "And so, at five days, we do not have to start adding days to meet our instructional hours obligations with the state." But, he tells KBND News there's always a concern when students lose time in the classroom. He says, "We’re at the point now where we’re starting to discuss if we add days back, and when those might be and how many." Mathisen says the final decision has to wait until the weather is finally clear, "We’ll let the dust settle on this; likely get some communication out in the next week or so."

Bend-La Pine Schools closed for three days over the past two weeks, due to bad weather. The district is now considering scheduling make-up days in June. Both 509J and Bend-La Pine expect to announce decisions soon. 

Redmond Schools Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline admits last week’s freezing rain was a challenge, "Packed snow can be dealt with pretty well with snow tires, chains and all-weather traction. But the freezing rain creates something completely different." Dr. Cline tells KBND News, "We’ve closed one day, which was last Friday. And then we’ve had two late starts; so roughly 12 hours of instruction." He adds, "We’re close for high school hours of instruction. We’re still okay, but if we get too much more of this, we’d have to consider some rescheduling." Cline says it’s especially tough for high school seniors who already have a shortened school year. 

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