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Schools deal with a week of closings

The start of 2014 has been a rough one for area schools after the past few years have been relatively mild. Since school resumed after Christmas break, LaGrange County schools have missed seven and eight days due to weather. There have been multiple two-hour delays, due primarily to the extreme cold.

The Indiana Department of Education has given schools waivers for two days in connection with the first storm that kept schools closed the first week of the month. That still leaves five days of classes missed and has districts looking ahead at their calendars and graduation dates.

Lakeland High School set its graduation for Friday, June 13. The school schedule shows the last planned day of classes for students on June 2, giving the school a nine-day buffer.

Still, the Lakeland School Board is expected to discuss their options at a meeting on January 30.

Westview Schools has a tighter window, with the last day of classes set for May 28 and graduation just two days later on May 30. Superintendent Randy Zimmerly noted that with the current calendar, May 30 could be a student day. “There are enough days built in to finish prior to graduation, if there are no more weather cancellations,” Zimmerly said.

The board will likely look at the school’s calendar at their March meeting, after the threat of weather cancellations has mostly passed, to discuss any changes that need to be done. “We will try to honor that date (May 30). We know families have made plans for that date,” Zimmerly stated.

Zimmerly noted that additional waiver days from the state are unlikely as the most recent cancellations were local events, whereas the storm that hit earlier in the month affected schools statewide.

Prairie Heights has missed eight days in January. Superintendent Alan Middleton noted that the district will look at the calendar after they get through the next 60 days and past the potential for more weather issues. “Our efforts are to manage the days so we get our seniors taken care of,” Middleton said.

The Prairie Heights School Board has already eliminated the day off planned for Presidents Day on February 17 as a make-up day.