Hardin County Community School Takes 16 Snow Days

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By Hilary LeHew
By Randy Livingston

ELIZABETHTOWN -- The snow and ice have been a challenge for educators across the region, but rural districts, like Hardin County Community School, have the worst of it.  

In the past three months, Hardin County school district has taken 16 snow days. Students had seven snow days in December, two in January and another week and a half of time off in February.
 
Wednesday was the first day this month Hardin County students have been back in the classroom. "They're anxious to be back to school believe it or not," said Superintendent Keith Reinhardt.
 
Hardin County puts twice as many emergency snow days in its calendar as most districts. However, Reinhardt explains, this year that's still not enough.
 
"We have used those 10 days up now and we're now into six days considered act of God days," he said.
 
One day was used for a water main break in Elizabethtown and the other 15 were in the hands of mother nature.
 
"It's not so much the large amount of snow, it's the cold weather," Reinhardt explained. We were absent school December and January due to the bitter cold days, and then also we have had an enormous amount of ice on our roads," he added.
 
As you drive down route 146, the roads are perfectly clear. But take a turn down a side road and the scene quickly changes.
 
"We have a lot of secondary roads in this county that just don't receive attention," said parent Jason Prior.
 
While many parents may feel relieved to have their kids back at school, Prior says he's glad the school district cares about his child's safety.
 
These school buses travel more than a thousand miles a day, much of it on back roads. "There's just no money in the county for snow routes to be cleared for children to get to school," he said.
 
Anytime students are out a few days, Reinhardt says bringing them back can disrupt the educational process and state mandated testing is just around the corner.
    
"It puts a little pressure to get our curriculum in and if fact, the state has, I believe, just extended our testing date to the third week in March," he added.
 
Reinhardt says Hardin County must make up 10 of those missed days. The last day of school was originally scheduled for May 22. The district is now looking at June 5th as its final school day.
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