MAIN STREET CLOSED, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND ELMWOOD
Schools Dealing With Harsh Winter
School districts across the Midwest are scrambling to make up missed days caused by the harsh winter weather, but few have felt the effects of nature's fury like those in Washington, Ill.
"This is my 21st year as an administrator, and this has been the most severe. Not even counting the tornado," said District 52 Superintendent Dr. John Tignor.
District 52 has missed a total of 11 school days this year. Of those, just five were the result of the Nov. 17 tornado. The remaining six all came in January, when frigid temperatures and snowstorms made it unsafe for kids to attend class.
Dr. Tignor says five of the cancellations were designated as "emergency days," which the District will make up by holding classes through June 5 instead of the end of May.
"Once you've used up those emergency days, you have to contact the regional office of education to get approval for what is called in the school code as 'act of God days,'" Dr. Tignor said.
The good news for students is that those act of God days do not need to be made up by school districts.
"That doesn't mean a school district can't make those up," Dr. Tignor said. "But typically, the calendar's already set. Parents have already made plans for when school is out, students have already made plans for when school is out. So, it becomes a little bit difficult to extend the year beyond what you've already planned."
He says all four districts in Washington work together to decide whether to cancel classes during a severe weather event, noting that either everyone's out, or everyone's going to class.
As of early Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service says the Peoria area will see as much as nine inches of snow over the next few days. The NWS believes the storm will start dropping significant snowfall on Tuesday afternoon, and continue through Wednesday morning.