School schedule capsized by ice storm

Downed power lines hang precariously over a Monette intersection
Downed power lines hang precariously over a Monette intersection

LINDSAY RICE – Hoof Prints Staff

Even after all of the ice storm warnings, no one was able to really prepare for its long-term effects. Power lines were down everywhere; all of Monette and Leachville were out of out of power. Because of this many people couldn’t even keep warm in their own homes, and some couldn’t take showers.

Some residents left town for a few days to let things calm down before coming back to a total mess and others chose to stick around and tough it out in the icy cold.  Due to the severity of this ice storm school was canceled for five days.

According to Principal Randy Rose, when something like this comes up, the administration just has to wait and see how severe it gets before they can make any calls on canceling school.  Superintendent George Edd Holland said that there are plans for bad weather for the custodians and maintenance workers to check on the school.

During the storm, many things had to be done to make sure the school would run smoothly when classes resumed. Rose said that all the food in the freezers had to be thrown out so that the students, teachers, and faculty that eat in the cafeteria didn’t get sick. When the school had power returned to it, the cafeteria was used to feed the electric company workers. Rose said, “I’m not sure if there’s anything we can do to prevent this next time.”

Faculty members and staff had to return to school on Monday to make sure that the cafeteria was stocked and make sure that the school was completely ready for students to return.  Although not every student and faculty member had power, the administration made plans to return to school Tuesday, February 3.  Holland said “As soon as we had power and had everything ready for students we brought them back.”

It was decided to be a lenient as possible about the absences of those who didn’t return to school because they didn’t have power.  The credit committee will take into consideration this ice storm and so many people who lost electricity during the meeting about those who are at risk of losing credits due to absences.

This ice storm caused a lot of uproar around the school.  Not only did it change our school calendar, it added expense to the budget, many repairs had to be made, and there was substantial food loss.  “Any time we have something like this it adds expense to the district,” said Holland.

The main thing on everyone’s mind right now, besides getting power back for those who don’t have it yet, is the make up days. School was called to session on Friday, February 13, a day that was set aside for teacher inservice before the storm.  School will also be in session on Friday, April 10, and  prom has been rescheduled for this night.

According to Holland, the school board has decided that students and teachers will attend school Tuesday, May 26 through Friday May 30 and report card pick up will be Saturday, 30.  Holland also said “The major concern is loss of instructional days before state mandated testing begins.  Even though we will make those days up, it will be after testing.”