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Winter’s wallop hits Jennings hard; schools closed 5 days

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Cold, icy, cold, snowy. That pretty much explains the weather here in Jennings County the past month.

We thought we had dodged a bullet when some of those storms only brought rain, but then the cold air quickly came in and turned it all to ice.

The weather has caused five school closures so far this school year. School was closed Dec. 6, 9 and 10, and the first two school days of the new semester: Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our primary concern is safety. If we are seriously in doubt about the safety of students at bus stops, buses on our county roads or staff and students commuting to school, then we will opt to delay the start of school or possibly cancel for that day,” Jennings County School Corp. Superintendent Terry Sargent said.

The school calendar had three makeup days built into it. Those days are Jan. 20, Feb. 17 and March 21. School will now be in session on these three days. Sargent has expressed his intention to apply for a state-approved waiver for the Tuesday and Wednesday closures. If the Indiana Department of Education grants the waiver, those days will not need to be made up.

The winter weather also has caused a lot of scrambling with area school athletic departments. Six basketball games have been moved to a different date or even a different school.

“Our winter schedules and facilities are scheduled pretty tight and figured out months ahead of time. When we start moving events, that puts an already heavy schedule that much more out of balance,” Jennings County High School Athletics Director Mike Broughton said.

Merrick Green, a senior, said that Jennings High students have had lots of time to play video games, sleep in and enjoy the Christmas break.

“But I’m starting to miss my friends and taking my heavy equipment class over at Versailles. I’m starting to get a bad case of cabin fever and just want to get out,” Green said.

Rebecca Smith is a senior at Jennings County High School.

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