Fort Wayne Community Schools off-days this week due to weather and a few related maintenance issues haven't pushed the district into extending the school year, but now there is only one day of wiggle room left in the schedule.
The Indiana Department of Education has stated that it would issue waivers for the 180-day rule for the closures on Monday and Tuesday, and FWCS will apply for those, spokeswoman Krista Stockman said Thursday.
It gets tricky, after that.
Friday was originally supposed to be a teacher work day, with no students in any of the district's buildings, Stockman explained. Then, school was planned to be in session on Friday, in order to make up Wednesday's snow day. Late Thursday afternoon, however, the district moved to a two-hour delay for Friday before canceling classes entirely on Friday morning.
“We just can't get the buses down the side streets,” Stockman said.
That means Wednesday's day off is now scheduled to be made up on May 9, Thursday's day off will be made up on May 23, and FWCS only has one more end-of-semester day left in June.
If that one gets used, more days out will mean that the district will extend the school year by a corresponding number of days.
Stockman also explained that multiple buildings in the district sustained weather-related problems, such as heating coils failing and then needing to be replaced. Those would affect “a room or two, maybe a cafeteria or wing (of the school),” Stockman said, and those repairs have been made.
A portion of the fire-sprinkler at North Side High School in the principal's office froze, then ruptured, as well, and the resulting damage meant that area would not have been usable should FWCS have returned to school on Friday.
Classes have not been in session since Dec. 20, after which the winter vacation break began.
East Allen County Schools, Southwest Allen County Schools and Northwest Allen County Schools were also all closed Friday.