VALPARAISO | It's payback time for most of those days Valparaiso's schools were closed because of the cold and snowy weather.
The School Board approved four makeup days Thursday, including Feb. 14, which had been scheduled as a day off for the midwinter break. Instead, it will be business as usual that day to make up for the Feb. 5 emergency closure.
Superintendent Michael Berta said the state granted waivers for the Jan. 6 and 7 closings, which means those won't have to be made up. The district has applied for waivers for the forced closings on Jan. 8, 27 and 28, but those have not been approved by the state.
If no waivers are granted, and Berta said it appears unlikely they will be, the district will use extra days planned in the calendar for that purpose on April 18, May 16 and June 6. He said he also will apply for a waiver for the Feb. 5 closing.
Phone and email messages went out to homes Friday regarding the makeup days, but Berta warned the winter isn't over and the district could be facing still more closings and makeup days. If that happens, it will mean holding classes on Saturdays.
"Between (Thursday) and the Feb. 20 board meeting, we will identify two Saturdays to recommend as makeup days if we have any more closings," he said.
He said he met with the Valparaiso Teachers Association Thursday to discuss the need to make up the lost days, and the fact the district had exceeded the number of makeup days that already were woven into the school calendar.
Friday's midwinter break day is supposed to be part of a four-day Presidents' Day weekend. Berta said there are no plans to hold class on Presidents Day, Feb. 17.