Although snowfall in Mason has lightened, students and teachers still are dealing with the effects of the recent snow days.
School was closed Feb. 2 and 3 for Mason Area School District students after extreme weather caused dangerous driving conditions.
Although most of the 10 inches of snow that accumulated fell Feb. 2, school officials also canceled classes Feb. 3 because of poor road conditions, he said.
The superintendent has the authority to declare a snow day, Superintendent Mark Dillingham said. The transportation supervisor gives the superintendent feedback based on road conditions, Dillingham said.
Dillingham met with officials from surrounding county schools and had an hour-long webinar with five members of the National Weather Service before deciding to cancel classes, he said.
School officials also contacted members of the Ingham County Road Commission, who informed them that not all secondary roads would be plowed by Feb. 3, Dillingham said.
“We send out buses down some 110 square miles,” he said. “I was concerned about side roads.”
Teachers warned students that there would most likely be a snow day Feb. 2, but the cancellation Feb. 3 came as a “surprise” to Mason High School senior Charissa Hayden.
The Mason Middle School trimester was extended a day to compensate for the lost days, but other schools are expected to cope with cancellation without adding days to the semester, Dillingham said.
Teachers are responsible for adjusting their coursesm in response to the snow day, he said. Most are prepared to deal with occasional snow days because of their prevalence in this area, he said.
“They’ll have to adjust the instruction,” Dilingham said. “They won’t (teach) what they don’t consider mandatory.”
Some teachers gave extensions for assignments or rescheduled exams, Hayden said.
“All the teachers scheduled around the snow day,” she said. “ I had a paper due and it was actually due on Wednesday, (but) I ended up finishing it on Wednesday.”
Michigan law allows as many as 30 hours of school to be missed for snow days, Dillingham said. Mason Public Schools declared about three school cancellations this academic year.
The upcoming week will offer relief from the large amounts of snowfall that hit the area last week, but temperatures will drop, said Bob Suttle, a weather service specialist at the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. Lows will hover between zero and minus 5 and highs will remain in the teens, he said.
Although temperatures are below normal for this time of year, fluctuations are typical, Suttle said. A mixture of high and low temperatures is expected for the Mason area in the upcoming weeks, he said.
“We’re getting into almost the middle of February,” he said. “The sun is continuing the move to the north ━ more sunlight means warmer temperatures.”