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Longer Year for Clark County Schools Due to Weather Cancellations

Clark County School District
The Clark County School District says it cannot hold school as long as the roads leading to the school are in poor shape.

The wicked weather to start 2019 will mean a shortened summer break for the Clark County R-1 School District in northeast Missouri. The district has now cancelled class 13 times due to weather this school year.

Superintendent Ritchie Kracht said the Missouri Department of Education does not require a district to make up every day missed for weather.

“The most you have to make up for weather-related days is ten,” said Kracht. “You make up the first seven days you miss and then you make up every other one until you make up a total of ten days.”

With the cancellation of school on Friday, February 1, Kracht said Clark County has received the maximum of ten days to make up.

“Then if [the district] misses three days in February due to a snowstorm, we do not have to make them up because we would have met our threshold,” said Kracht.

Kracht said the school board voted this week to cancel two planned days off next to help make up for the weather cancellations. Students will now be in class on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18) and on a previously scheduled professional development day (Feb. 4).

The rest of the days will be made up at the end of the school year. The final day of school has been moved from May 14 to May 24.

Credit Courtesy / Clark County School District
Clark County School District
The Clark County School District shared photos of the roads on its Facebook page Thursday.

Kracht said it’s frustrating because some of the days off could have been avoided. He said Clark County had to cancel school several times because the only roads in the county that the Missouri Department of Transportation treats with salt are Highway 136 and the Avenue of the Saints.

“They don’t put salt down on Highway 81 or the ‘letter’ roads,” said Kracht. “They’ve been frozen over and that’s why we have not gotten to school is because they have not put salt down. We can’t drive on them. Cars are going in ditches, there is no way we could take buses down them. It’s frustrating for us.”

Kracht said he’s tried to convince MODOT to focus more on the other hard-surface roads in Clark County, but to no avail.

MODOT could not be reached for comment about its road maintenance plan.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.