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Board chooses make-up schedule for days missed due to power outage

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By The Staff

Oldham County students made up one of their missed days Friday, but they still have four days of electricity-free, sunny day freedom to pay for in the coming months. School will now last until May 29, barring any more missed days.

Power outages caused by remnants of Hurricane Ike knocked out power to most Oldham County Schools for close to a week, although the storm caused no significant damage to school facilities.

Students missed five days of school, all of which must be made up in order to meet the minimum amount of school days required by state regulation, Oldham County Schools Director of Communications Rebecca DeSensi said.

The first make-up day was Friday, a day originally scheduled as a professional development day for teachers and a day without classes for students, DeSensi said.

School board members chose the other four days during a meeting Monday night.

Fall break — Oct. 20 to 24 — and spring break — March 30 to April 3 — are unaffected.

Instead, students will attend Feb. 16 — originally a staff development day, May 19 — primary election day and May 28 and May 29 — after school was originally scheduled to release for summer break.

The three additional days North Oldham High School must make up due to construction delays will be recommended by the school staff for board approval, Superintendent Paul Upchurch said.

Oldham County Middle School principal Chris Kraft said the storm didn’t have bad direct effects on his school. A couple refrigerators defrosted, soaking the carpet, and a garter snake found its way into the school, but nothing too bad.

The school, like others, wasn’t damaged, and employees moved perishable food to working freezers.

Upchurch commended Director of Maintenance Paul Murray who had the idea to reroute power from emergency lighting to freezers and move frozen food to those operable freezers. Upchurch believes Murray saved the school district about $100,000 worth of food with his

ingenuity.

North Oldham High School added to their list of trials and tribulations a power surge during the storm that blew out an air-conditioning unit. DeSensi said the unit was replaced before school resumed.

The time off did affect things for school scheduling.

It means Kraft had to reschedule standardized testing, and carve out some time for the professional development his staff missed Friday.

“These are things we have to do,” he said.

Goshen Elementary had slightly more damage — a couple of shingles have already been replaced, principal Candace Sellars said. She’ll reschedule picture day and a couple meetings, nothing too big.

Goshen employees still provided the after-school Swamp program under window light until Wednesday when the power came back on, Sellars said.

DeSensi said all schools tried to provide childcare once their power came on. In a couple cases, such as Buckner and Liberty elementaries, no students came.

The students seemed normal Monday, Sellars said, albeit a little more chatty than usual.

“Kids are resilient, they can pop right back in and get going,” she said.

Harmony Elementary principal Tracey Harris said teachers spent a good portion of their morning lessons talking about the students’ adventures without powers.

“Some teachers even used it as a writing prompt,” she said.

E-mail us about this story at: jfoster@oldhamera.com.