Sometimes, it’s not the calendar, but Mother NatureHALSTAD, Minn. – Sometimes, it’s not the calendar, but Mother Nature that decides when it’s spring break.
By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM , The Republican Eagle
HALSTAD, Minn. – Sometimes, it’s not the calendar, but Mother Nature that decides when it’s spring break.
Students in Norman County West School District are getting extra days away from school as floodwaters from the Red River, bloated by high water piling into it from the Sheyenne River, have slopped over roads and made commutes in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota all but impossible.
“Everyone’s absent, because we don’t have school this week,” said Mary Niklaus, curriculum coordinator for the district.
School won’t be back in session until Monday, staff said Wednesday.
Buses would have to take a 26-mile route to go from Halstad to Hendrum. Other routes to Shelly, Georgetown and Perley couldn’t be run, Niklaus said.
A National Guard group is also stationed in the Hendrum school, she said.
Still, it’s not all good times for students. District teachers put together math and reading study packets to keep students sharp in front of state testing.
“This is about our fourth time through this,” Niklaus said. “We wanted to be sure we kept their brains working.”
Elsewhere, class time lost to flooding north of Fargo-Moorhead is hit and miss, school officials said.
In many cases, practice and dogged determination have residents finding ways to get children to class.
•West Fargo School District’s Harwood Elementary was closed Monday, but back open Tuesday, said Heather Leas, executive assistant to the school board and superintendent.
Five students from Harwood Elementary couldn’t make it to school Friday or Tuesday, Leas said. A smattering of students have been absent from Horace Elementary, Cheney Middle School and Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center since Friday.
The high school had 51 students absent for a day (either April 7 or 8) to help friends or family sandbag, and three have been late to school due to flooding, the district reports.
•Northern Cass School in Hunter, N.D., had 82 students missing Monday, as their bus couldn’t get to the Harwood area. Staff estimate eight of the district’s 534 students were kept from school by flooding Tuesday.
•Moorhead School District keeps a comprehensive list of those absent to sandbag, or affected by the high water. It reported 36 students as flood-affected excused Friday, and 703 as excused to help in the flood fight. On Monday, 17 were flood-affected excused and three were helping in a flood fight and excused.
“Parents do a lot of work to get their kids to school,” Superintendent Lynne Kovash said, noting that one year, a family used a boat to get their children to their bus stop.
•Central Cass School District in Casselton, N.D., didn’t appear to be affected by flooding Monday or Tuesday, Superintendent Mark Weston said.
•Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District officials reported no students absent Monday or Tuesday due to floodwaters blocking roads. Even students in Georgetown, Minn., made it in, a staffer said.
•Fargo School District doesn’t extend into the Harwood area, said spokesman Lowell Wolff, so that limited absences. Fifteen students were out Monday for flood-related reasons, and none were reported Tuesday, the district reported.
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