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Student vacation extended again

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Most local students will have an extra day tacked onto their two-week winter vacation today, as school districts canceled classes in the face of arctic temperatures.

John Quick, superintendent for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., said the decision to close schools today was made after a meeting Monday of emergency officials at the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center. Many county roads were still in poor condition Monday afternoon, Quick said. Teachers will still have a workday today, however, Quick said.

The district must consider the fact that some workers and students come in from neighboring communities, Quick said.

For example, students in the C4 Columbus Area Career Connections program at Columbus North High School are drawn from Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson and portions of Johnson counties. Johnson and Brown counties were under a snow emergency Monday, restricting travel only to emergency vehicles.

Private or parochial students also are excused from classes today.

School closings

The following schools announced Monday afternoon that classes for today would be canceled. Check for more closings this morning:

  • Bartholomew Consolidated
  • St. Bartholomew
  • St. Peter’s
  • White Creek Lutheran
  • Flat Rock-Hawcreek
  • ABC-Stewart
  • Cross Cliff Columbus Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Cross Cliff Columbus Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Decatur County Head Start
  • Jackson County Head Start
  • Franklin Head Start
  • Shelby County Head Start and Early Head Start

St. Bartholomew Catholic School, St. Peter’s Lutheran School and White Creek Lutheran School use BCSC buses for transportation and close when the public schools close. While ABC-Stewart School does not use the public school district’s buses, it does follow the public school district’s lead for closings, said Mike Gorday, ABC-Stewart principal.

Flat Rock-Hawcreek Superintendent Kathy Griffey made the decision early Monday afternoon to cancel today’s classes in the Hope-based district.

“We want everyone to stay warm and stay safe without traveling on hazardous roads,” Griffey said.

Randy Proffitt, executive director of marketing and communications for Ivy Tech Community College Columbus/Franklin, said that the campus opted to close Monday because classes don’t begin until Jan. 13. Paying students are customers, and the school tries to keep the campus open for them.

“We always try to communicate to people that it is always a personal decision to travel,” Proffitt said. “We aren’t like the school corporations that are dealing with children. We are dealing with adults, and we rely on those individuals to make a decision in their best interest.”

Susan Sullivan, spokeswoman for IUPUC, said that the Indiana University system opted Sunday night to close all campuses Monday out of safety concerns. She said the university’s students also do not come back to class until Jan. 13.

“That is a blessing that this weather came at a time when classes are not in session,” Sullivan said.

“We want to be very mindful of the safety and the hazardous conditions if it involves travel this time of year,” she said.

No decisions had been made as of Monday afternoon on whether the local college campuses would be open today.

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