Public schools closed again

Helias, 2 Catholic schools back in session

Blame “road conditions and a variety of weather-related circumstances” for the decision — Jefferson City’s Public Schools are closed again today.

St. Peter Catholic School also remains closed because the parking lots still had too much snow.

But Helias Catholic High School and the St. Joseph Cathedral and Immaculate Conception elementary schools announced Thursday they were returning to classes today.

Helias was to start late, at 9 a.m., with a “Jeans and Tennis Shoe Day for everyone,” according to the school’s Facebook page.

But both Helias and the public schools have used up all their built-in bad weather days.

State law controls the public schools’ calendar.

For starters, the law requires public schools to hold classes for at least 174 days and 1,044 classroom hours each year.

“The district must build six weather makeup dates into the school calendar,” Jefferson City Schools spokesman David Luther said Thursday, in an e-mail and an item posted on the district’s website, www.jcps.k12.mo.us. “The Jefferson City Public Schools calendar includes all six of those days at the end of the school year, (from) May 19-20 and 23-26.”

But Thursday’s cancellation is the seventh for this school year.

“If we were to have no more snow days, the last day of school would now be Friday, May 27,” Luther said. “By state statute, if the school district misses an eighth day, that day is ‘forgiven’ and does not need to be made up. (Our eighth day is Friday, Feb. 4.)”

Helias Principal Didier “Di” Aur said the Catholic high school isn’t looking at its spring break — April 21-22 and 25 — either.

“Our spring break is Easter, and we really don’t want to do that during those holy days,” Aur said.

But Helias administrators meet next week, and they’ll be looking at other options — with an announcement as soon as next week.

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