Area schools closed again today

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 05:41 PM

Durham school children will miss at least two more days of school due to a winter storm Wednesday that dumped several inches of snow on the Triangle, forcing schools and many businesses to close.

With closures Thursday and today, Durham Public Schools has shuttered its doors four days since Jan. 29 due to inclement weather, and is quickly burning through the makeup days on its calendars.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools will also close today.

Charter schools and private schools throughout Durham also closed on Thursday, but none was as creative in making the announcement as a couple school administrators at Durham Academy.

Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hank sampled rapper Vanilla Ice’s hit “Ice, Ice Baby” in a video to tell students that school would be closed Thursday.

The video went viral, was shown on local and national news programs and posted on the websites of newspapers such as the Washington Post and Philadelphi.com.

Meanwhile, Durham students on the traditional calendar are already scheduled to make up Jan. 29-30, missed due to bad weather, on Feb. 17 and March 28.

The calendar calls for only two more inclement weather days – April 14-15.  

Today (Feb. 14) was a makeup day for students on the district’s year-round calendar and a second make-up day is scheduled for Monday, leaving March 31.

Now, Durham officials must schedule a makeup day for today’s makeup day.

Fortunately for school officials, but not so much for year-round students, DPS can dip into the next scheduled intercession – April 1-18 -- to make up missed days.

April 1-4, the first four days of the intercession, are listed on the calendar as preferred makeup days.

School officials said the district will let parents and students know as soon as possible the days students will be asked to make up those missed due to the most recent storm.

“We will make sure to communicate with families both directly at the school level, on our website and on social media,” DPS spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said in an email response to questions about the district’s plans to makeup missed days.

With the testing season approaching, Pearson said the district will also try to reschedule as many of the test prep days as it can to replace those missed due to inclement weather.

Jeff Nash, spokesman for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, said the district will continue to keep an eye on the weather and driving conditions for weekend activities.

School will be in session Feb. 17 instead of being a teacher workday as originally scheduled.

The makeup days for Thursday and Friday have not been announced.

CHCCS schools were closed Thursday for both students and staff because of the snow and ice that blanketed the area.

The district asked teachers and staff to remain at home and to await further communications on makeup day options.

 Reporter Jamica Ashley contributed to this report.