Schools have an 'out' thanks to emergency declaration - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Schools have an 'out' thanks to emergency declaration

Posted: Updated:
Schools seeking relief from making up instruction time can ask for a waiver due to the governor's disaster declaration. (Source: MGN Online) Schools seeking relief from making up instruction time can ask for a waiver due to the governor's disaster declaration. (Source: MGN Online)
COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The wave of arctic blasts has forced schools to close completely. School officials said the overnight freezes posed too great of a threat to put buses and students on the roads.

If a school canceled classes due to this week's stream of icy weather, the district can submit a waiver petitioning to have that day dismissed from the calendar, but they can only do so because Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency during this latest winter storm.

School leaders said legislation was passed a few years ago to allow districts to seek relief from the state by detailing the situation in writing. If the governor does not declare a state of emergency and weather affects classes, districts have the opportunity to seek relief by submitting their plans to make up the days in other ways, such as in Lauderdale County, where two schools are going an extra 30 minutes per day to make up for lost class due to water issues.

Colbert County Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cornelius said their number one priority is student and staff safety above all else. "I served as an assistant principal of a high school, a principal of an elementary, and now as Assistant Superintendent, you will always make the decision based on student safety," he said.

Colbert County Schools said they have had four weather delays this month, all of which have counted as classroom time, and they are hopeful Mother Nature won't throw any more situations at them to cause them to miss full days.

Remember, when breaking news happens, we break it first online, by email, and by text. If you want to receive our breaking news alerts by text, pull out your phone right now and text NEWS to 44848. Message and data rates may apply. You can text STOP at any time to cancel your subscription, text HELP for more information, or call 877-571-0774 for support.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow