Florence school districts prepare for wintry blast

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - When severe weather threatens the area, school officials check the forecast every hour to make sure your student is safe.

"Overall, in the nation we are experiencing a pretty cold winter, so we just have to do what we can to make sure that our students are safe," said Pam Little-McDaniel with Florence School District One.

School districts across Florence County are keeping a close eye on the winter weather headed our way. The storm has the potential to knock out power, cripple roadways and once again call for a snow day.

"We receive our information from the national weather service and from local meteorologists, such as those at WMBF, like Jamie, Jessica, Robert and Marla," said Little-McDaniel.

When the forecast is expected to pack a punch, school leaders said they are regularly briefed by Florence County Emergency Management, so that delay and closing decisions can be made with the latest information.

"We take all that information and consider it all. And we try to determine what is in the best interest of our children as far as safety and well being," said Dr. Keith Callicutt Superintendent for Florence County School District Three.

Callicutt said each school district in the state is required to have make up days, should weather problems cause students to be out of class.

The problem is the three make-up days, scheduled for this semester in Florence 3, will already be used because of the last wintry blast that marched across our area.

"If we miss additional days, we will have come back together as a team and determine which days or how and if we will make them up," said Callicutt.

Callicutt said it is possible the state's legislature could excuse some of the days schools were closed due to inclement weather, but that decision has not yet been made.

While Florence Three is still waiting to release make-up days from the last Winter Storm, Florence One has already scheduled two.

"We have February 18th and March 28th," said Little-McDaniel.

Both school districts said the concern is not focused on days missed, but making sure your students can safely make it to class.

"I want our parents to know that we consider the safety and well-being of our children first, foremost in our entire decision making, and we will continue to do that," said Callicutt.

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