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Sandy Puts Strain on Ohio Calamity Days

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(Courtesy: MGN Online)

WESTLAKE, Ohio – Several local schools remain closed due to this week’s storms, putting a strain on calamity days left in the school year.

Ohio schools are given five calamity days each year, but many districts, like Westlake City Schools, have tapped into three of them so far.

“Of course the power outage has been the biggest problem,” said Westlake superintendent Dan Keenan, “but the other problem that we experienced is a lot of the roads are blocked and a lot of downed power lines for a long period of time. So, transportation’s become an issue and even finding alternate routes has been difficult because we’ve had to ask kids to walk through areas that’d been hazardous areas.”

The official start of winter may be several weeks away, but Keenan said if the schools do shut down and exceed the calamity days, they’ll likely reduce vacations.

“This year’s an interesting one because we have a new building project, so we have to look at some of our vacation periods and the end of the school year, because at the end of the school year, we’re building a new high school,” he said. “We’ll be moving out of that high school and then moving into the new high school so we need that summer time.”

Keenan said he doubts the district will have to make any major changes this upcoming winter. Westlake did not use any calamity days last year and only one the year before, he said.

According to its website, all Westlake schools will be open on Friday.