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NEW: School status update from Superintendent Roger Marcum

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All Marion County schools have power

By The Staff

Editor's note: The following statement was issued by Marion County Superintendent Roger Marcum Saturday evening:

I am pleased to report we now have electricity and water in all schools. We owe a big thank you to Tim Clark and the KU crew for making the necessary repairs this morning at Lebanon Elementary School to have electrical service again.

I have cancelled school for Monday, Feb. 2. After talking with Judge John G. Mattingly this afternoon and hearing Mr. Keen's report of the road conditions, we still have several roads unsafe for school bus transportation because of tree limbs and low hanging utility wires. Judge Mattingly has assured the county road crew will work diligently to clear the roads for safe bus travel. With a forecast of temperatures in the 50s for Sunday the ice should finish melting and will be an excellent day for working to clear the roads.

We will re-evaluate the situation on Monday and make a decision concerning school on Tuesday. I will use One Call Now and the media to inform you of our decision. Our goal is to return our students and staff to school as ASAP. We know many are still without electricity and we know school would be a much better environment for children and adults.

By canceling school on Monday, Feb. 2, MCPS will have missed a total of nine days of school for the 2008-09 school year. I will be recommending to the MCBOE during their special-called meeting Tuesday night, Feb. 3, that we amend the school calendar to use Monday February 16th, 2009, Presidents Day, as a make-up day. If approved this will still leave us with eight days to make up and much of winter still in front of us. I do plan to discuss with the MCBOE the possibility of using Spring Break week as make-up days as well. I know everyone enjoys Spring Break, but with eight make-up days our school year is already extended into June. Missing more days in February and March because of weather conditions or sickness is a real possibility. Without using Spring Break as make-up days, our school year could extend into mid June or later.

During my One Call Now message today, at the request of Judge Mattingly I informed our student families and employees of the lifting of the boil water advisory effective immediately.

I will continue to keep you informed of the status of MCPS through the use of One Call Now, the local and state media, MCPS website, our Central Office answering service and e-mail communication.

As a community, we have made significant progress toward returning to normal living conditions. This has been possible through effective leadership from our county/city and the teamwork and collaboration of everyone. Thanks to all who have contributed!