West Fork was one of the small Northwest Arkansas school districts to cancel classes Monday (Feb. 10). Hunstville and St. Paul schools also closed.
Superintendent John Karnes said even though the main roads are clear, secondary streets are icy. The West Fork School District is on snow day number 18.
“The road situation is so serious with our secondary roads that it’s not safe to place a bus driver on these roads with kids,” Karnes said.
Karnes drives the streets in the school district along with the transportation superintendent to decide if buses can safely pick up students.
There are 1,200 students in the district and 65 percent are bus riders, he said.
“These temperatures have been so cold and we have seen so little sun that we aren’t getting the melting that we normally would,” Karnes said.
Teachers and administrators plan to meet and decide when to make-up snow days.
“We’ve already made up three days,” Karnes said. “We have a fourth day coming up February 14th this Friday. Beyond that point the board will make the final decision based on our recommendations.”
Seniors won’t have to make-up days if they are added at the end of the school year in June.
“I still graduate May 19th because I have my graduation date set,” said Nick Sondgrass.
Karnes said he plans to drive on the icy roads Monday afternoon to make a decision about school on Tuesday.
“We don’t want to be in school until the end of June so were hoping that maybe we get by with June 6th being out last day,” Karnes said. “We’re hoping for the best. There’s a lot of winter left and that’s concerning.”
The school district is looking at Saturday school as an option. Karnes said they want to make up as many days before testing in April.