Shelbyville Daily Union

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January 28, 2014

Frigid wind chills close area schools

Shelbyville schools has used all of its six “snow days” and the persistent frigid winter weather may result in more closings before spring arrives.

Winter is only half over and forecasts continue to call for sub-zero wind chill factors in upcoming weeks.

The decision to close schools is a difficult one to make.for superintendents. They consider may factors before making the decision.

“The wind chill is the big factor,” said Shelbyville superintendent Denise Bence. “Our concern is for the kids waiting for buses and walking to school and how fast they can get frostbite. We are also worried about buses breaking down and kids sitting on those buses for long periods of time. We have to err of the side of being too cautious.”

With the use of the built-in snow days on Shelbyville’s school calendar, the final day of school will be June 2, which is a teachers’ institute. The final day of class for students will be May 30.

“We cannot add more days to the calendar,” Bence said. “In the case of additional snow days, we will have to apply to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for ‘act of God’ days approval.”

To be in compliance with the ISBE, schools are mandated to have a minimum of 176 days of attendance per year. Approval of ‘act of God’ days overrides the mandate.

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