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Parents, Students Brace For Possibility Of Extended School year

Reported: Jan. 20, 2014 11:12 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) – The water crisis is coupled with the polar blast and snow in the forecast for most of this week, so what are stir-crazy kids and their parents going to do?

In many counties, including Kanawha, students have barely seen their classrooms this year. It’s been a real juggling game for moms and dads.

In Kanawha County, the kids have only been in school two days since Christmas.

Now, they’re bracing for what could be an extended school year, as we gear up for another shot of bitter cold weather, there is potential for yet again, more school cancellations.

It was a friendly slapdown between sisters joking in the aisles of Foodland, one playfully hitting the other over the head with an aluminum foil pan.

It was a huge difference from what one could see nearly two weeks ago at the same Foodland, where the situation was tense and angry. The region had just been through the Polar Vortex, then it was a madhouse, jam-packed aisles and even looting of ice and water the night the water crisis hit.

"Family has helped me out and we have daycare too, and our daycare's been open for part of it, not all of it," Crystal Drake said.

This second shot of cold air and snow now had Drake and her sister, Melissa Nelson, thinking about what could be an extended school year for their kids.

Still, she was pretty calm about it all.

"I don't see any of the bread, milk or typical stuff in your cart. Yeah, I'm not a bulk shopper, I'm a ‘get it for the day of, then figure it out tomorrow’ kinda gal," she said.
What does an 11-year-old do, if mom has to go to work and they've only had two days of school this month?

“He stays home with my fiance and plays X-Box all day long!,” Nelson said.

Does he want to go back to school?

“No!" she laughed.

Jeff Joseph, the manager at the Foodland in downtown Charleston, said gearing-up for this storm has been a breeze compared to what the area just weathered.

Lindsey Huffman juggles six kids and three jobs.

This super mom said it'll take more than a few cold days and some snow to slow her schedule.

"I can handle it!," she said confidently.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares has already said there is a chance some of those make-up days could be forgiven because of the state of emergency with the water crisis.

There's just no way to make all those days up, and everyone will have to wait until March, most likely, until they learn what the rest of this school year holds.



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