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The Big Chill: A list of closings around the county

Zoe Greszler • Jan 29, 2019 at 6:00 PM

Due to extreme temperatures and well-below zero wind chills, a number of places — including local schools, businesses and various services — have been canceled. Here’s a compilation of the local schools and other places which had announced a change of plans due to the weather prior to publication. For the most up-tp-date listings, visit www.norwalkreflector.com and follow the Winter Weather Blog. 

 

NORWALK 

Norwalk City Schools made a one-call at 5 p.m. Tuesday cancelling school today. It was unknown if Thursday classes also would be canceled.

Superintendent George Fisk earlier said the district most likely will wait until the night before — at the earliest — before making a decision on whether to use a calamity day.

“I personally take it case by case,” Fisk said. “I like it when I can make it the night before instead of springing it on our parents the same morning. With this week coming up, it my be a little easier because it looks like there’s not going to be much discrepancy in the forecast. But, obviously, the safest way to do it is to wait until that morning.”

Fisk said the district becomes “really concerned” when temperatures or wind chill factors reach minus 15, adding he and the other superintendents in Huron County refer to charts released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a general rule of thumb on safety.

“When it gets to be minus 15, for a walk to school, that’s when it gets too dangerous,” he said.

Norwalk Catholic Schools and St. Paul High School canceled classes today.  

Trash collection: 

Due to the hazardous weather conditions the city of Norwalk will not have trash collection services today. Today's trash collection will be collected the following Wednesday, Feb. 6. Only residents whose trash pickup day is Wednesday will be permitted to have six 33-gallon cans or six 33-gallon trash bags on Feb. 6.

Meeting canceled

The Huron County Democratic Party meeting scheduled for today has been postponed and rescheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at 16 W. Main St., Norwalk. A potluck will begin at 6 p.m.

 

MILAN

Edison Local Schools closed schools today, including after-school programs, and will remained closed Thursday.

Prior to today, Edison High School had used two of its allotted five calamity days, while the lower grade levels had used three. If it were to use more than the allotted five days, students would begin using blizzard bags.

EHOVE schools canceled classes today. 

 

PLYMOUTH 

Plymouth-Shiloh Local Schools Superintendent James Metcalf said the district will most likely decide whether to cancel school at some point Tuesday. 

Metcalf wasn’t sure offhand how many calamity days the district has used thus far, however, he said if they go over the allotted five, students will have days added on to the end of the school year as necessary.  

 

GREENWICH

South Central Local Schools said it would most likely wait until early this morning to know if classes are canceled, Superintendent Ben Chaffee said. 

“I don’t like to make the decision the night before because you can’t always depend on the forecasts,” Chaffee said, noting he uses a variety of forecasts, discussion with other superintendents and is out driving the roads by 4:30 a.m. in order to make a decision. 

“If it stays consistent and doesn’t change drastically then I might make that decision Tuesday night, but typically I like to wait.” 

The district already used six snow days this school year, one more than the allotted five, however, he said the district already stays in class an hour and a half more than the minimum required class time, meaning it’s less likely students will have to make time up. Faculty and staff, which still sign contracts based a number of days in stead of hours, will have to make the days up. South Central’s school calendar has this built into its calendar as a precaution. 

“It’s not that we won’t ever make days up (for the students), because we might,” Chaffee said, adding that it would have to be decided upon after a discussion with the board education. “But it’s because I want my students to be successful. I want them to be successful on the state tests and the end of course examines and to do well.” 

 

NEW LONDON

New London Local Schools sent out a One Call at 4 p.m. Tuesday, calling a snow day for both today and Thursday.

“I just don’t think that forecast for Thursday is looking very favorable and it doesn’t seem like it will be changing,” Superintendent Brad Romano said as to why he decided to make the call for both days so early.

Prior to today, the district had used all five days set aside for inclement weather. However, unlike the other districts in the area, New London will neither send home blizzard bags, nor tac days on to the end of the year. 

“So we closed five days already this year, making this day six and seven,” Romano said. “With the change over to hours (from days spent in class), we’re still well over the state minimum requirements for classroom time. So even with seven days, we’d be OK.”

A unique aspect though about the district is Romano said even if the district were to need to cancel classes for 15 days, because of its 1:1 computer-student ratio and the “amount of online learning we’re able to accomplish,” students won’t miss out on any education. This is the first year teachers throughout the district still are required to report to the building when classes are cancelled for wind chill or temperature values, making them able to provide digital instruction for the students.

At the elementary level, these classes focus mainly on english and math, providing “different lesson that can help to keep them on pace,” Romano said. At the higher levels, he said teachers are able to use programs like Google Classroom to have an “online presence” with their students 

“(The district’s online education program) is a newer thing we’re doing,” he added. “There’ no shortage of things students can do at any level.”

He said in the event of a more extensive number of snow days, the district would create a more organized program of class assignments so all understand what would be expected.

“I feel that where we’re at as a district, with the advances in our innovation and technology, we’ll be fine even with a large number of (calamity days),” Romano said.

Heat station

The fire station in New London at 30 Prospect St. opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday and will remain open until 4 p.m. or later Thursday to shelter anyone in need because of the cold weather. No bedding or food will be provided but someone will staff the station at all times.

Contact the police department at 419-929-3504 before coming to the fire station.

 

WILLARD

Willard City Schools used a snow day to cancel classes today. The fate or Thursday’s classes was unknown as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. 

No one at the board office could be reached for comment and it is unknown how many snow days were left to be used. 

E Prep and Village Prep Willard Campus also canceled its classes for Wednesday and Thursday.

 

BELLEVUE

Bellevue City Schools will be closed both Wednesday and Thursday. 

Prior to today, the district had used four calamity days.

“After Day 5 (Wednesday) we will use online lessons or blizzard bags for Day 6 on Thursday,” Superintendent Kim Schubert said.

 

WESTERN RESERVE

The school is closed today, but Superintendent Rodge Wilson said he will take the rest of the week “day by day.”

The school has used two snow days so far this year. If it exceeds the five given, Wilson said the district will first use the staff professional development days and then spring break days as make up time, as outlined in the school calendar. 

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