• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Snowfall on Thursday closes schools

Students were not in class last Thursday and Friday because of about two inches of snowfall in Woodford County. The year's first snow day will mean Woodford County Public Schools will now be in session on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 20. The second day was designated as a Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) day, which means students did schoolwork at home and will not have to make up that day. The snow that fell on Thursday began mid-morning, with additional snowfall coming later in the day. Not knowing exactly when the snow was going to fall made for a difficult decision. "We knew it was coming," said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins. "It was just a matter of 'When was it going to get here?'" When weather forecasts, which were initially calling for snow to begin falling later on Thursday, changed to mid-morning, Hawkins said starting school and then calling for an early-dismissal would have been problematic. "So based on those two pieces (of information)," he added, "we (were) . just better off going ahead and canceling" school. The decision to use an NTI day and close schools on Friday was made easier by the late-day snowfall on Thursday. "The roads were just not quite good enough for us to go," said Hawkins. He said road crews had done a good job of clearing roads during daylight hours, but snow that fell after sundown was not going anywhere without sunlight, limited traffic and falling temperatures that reduced the effectiveness of salt. "So even though it wasn't a huge amount of snow," explained Hawkins, "it was enough to be problematic - what we got late-Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening." The school calendar's second built-in makeup day - March 6 (currently a professional learning day for teachers) - can be used if classes are canceled because of inclement weather on or prior to Feb. 15. Beyond that, snow days would get tacked onto the school year, currently scheduled to end on May 22. "It's always nice to get through the mid-point of January and you've missed a couple of days. That's not too bad," Hawkins said.

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