AKRON, Ohio -- Subzero temperatures early Wednesday left numerous schools across the state closed again, many of them already exceeding the calamity day limit of just five days.
For Akron Public Schools, Wednesday was the seventh calamity day this year. Nearby Copley and Wadsworth schools used their sixth, and until they hear from the state legislature, superintendents are planning on adding days at the end of the year.
Akron Public Schools posted about makeup days on its Facebook page.
State lawmakers are working on getting the districts some help.
Two separate bills introduced on Tuesday, one in the Ohio Senate and one in the Ohio House of Representatives, would give school districts as many as four additional calamity days to use.
The legislative process is just beginning, however. School superintendents have to immediately deal with the conditions and are choosing to err on the side of safety, then deal with the consequences of going over the calamity day limit later.
"One of our factors here is we have students who walk a mile to school; we have students that walk a half mile to the bus stop and so we have to take into account that not everybody is going to be able to catch a bus at their driveway," said Wadsworth Superintendent Andrew Hill.
Copley-Fairlawn Superintendent Brian Poe said he has more than 100 students who still walk to school and others who stand at bus stops.
Poe said he didn't hesitate to use his sixth day.
"It's a tough call but I can tell you this, I will never sacrifice our students safety for the number of days we are using," said Poe adding, "our plan is to extend the end of the school year in June.
Districts might not need to do that if the state legislatures acts to give them additional days, but some superintendents say there is also a challenge now with compressing an entire school year into a shorter schedule.
"We have the state testing that takes place later on in the spring, we have a new teacher evaluation system that is very heavy on timelines that has been put into place this year based on changes on the state level, and so when you don't have school and don't have people here it continues to push those deadlines into a much more compacted time frame," said Hill.
Some teachers are also concerned.
"I as a faculty member can send out, you know, work for my kids to do so we try to keep on track that way, but it's not the same as having 70 minutes in the classroom," said Jim Newman, a humanities teacher at a private school that was also out on Wednesday.
Superintendents say there are a number of factors that go into the decision to close schools, including the impact on parents.
For now they are hoping for a long-term break in the unusually cold winter weather.
"I think the best thing I can ask, that we could ask, is for our communities to continue to be patient and we thank them for their patience as we get through this," said Hill.