A decision to briefly open Holland Central School District on Wednesday morning despite a blizzard warning drew complaints from parents but won’t affect the district’s state-required instructional time.
Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos said she made the call to open the district’s schools for a half day based on early weather reports that anticipated the storm to start north of Holland and not arrive in the area until the afternoon. But after approaching weather conditions appeared to worsen Wednesday morning, she reversed the decision and sent students home.
Fabiatos said the last student was dropped off at home before 11:30 a.m.
“Never would I make the call if I ever thought it was jeopardizing anybody’s safety,” Fabiatos said.
Students were in session for about an hour-and-a-half, but state requirements that regulate how much time students must be in school each day do not apply if schools close early “due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control,” according to the state Department of Education.
Holland schools have closed eight times this school year, including seven weather closures and once because of a fire that impacted transportation near the district administrative offices in the fall.
“This winter weather has truly interrupted the soundness of our educational program,” Fabiatos said.
The school district has already added one student attendance day back to its calendar on May 23, cutting short a planned Memorial Day long weekend. Another closure would impact the district’s spring break, Fabiatos said.