PERU — Students at Peru Community Schools will be staying at school longer for the next two weeks after the Peru School Board last week approved a one-hour extension to make up for snow cancellations.
The one-hour extension started March 12 and will continue through March 27.
Peru schools canceled 14 days this year due to subzero temperatures and persistent snowfall that made it one of the snowiest winters in history.
The extension makes up two days of missed school. The majority of days will be made up in June. The school board voted in February to add five days to the end of the school year, pushing the last day back to June 5.
Three days were made up by going to school on holidays and other scheduled days off. Three other days were absorbed by the already scheduled snow days built into the school calendar.
Superintendent Chuck Brimbury said he talked extensively with students, teachers, parents and local organizations such as the YMCA to determine the best option for making up the last two days.
He said 70 percent of school staff supported adding on an extra hour for all district schools.
The school board voted 6-1 to approve the extension. Board member Gregory Quin voted against it, saying he believed it was an ineffective way to make up school.
School officials met also March 19 to discuss how to make up the most recent snow day on March 12.
Quin also criticized school officials during the school board meeting for issuing so many cancellations.
“I think you need to get back to understanding that this is winter, and you’re going to have some days that are cold, but you still get out of bed and come to school,” he said.
Brimbury defended the number of snow days.
“I know that everyone wants to be in school, but I’m not going to make a mistake when it comes to the safety of our children,” he said. “As long as I’m making the decision, that’s the way I’m going. I will not put our kids’ safety at risk.”
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @carsongerber1.