Also, Fisher Elementary experienced pipe rupture, water damage
WHATCOM — Winter weather finally showed up last week, delivering five days of snow, cold and wind. And with it came school closures and event cancellations.
The Lynden School District called off school for four days due to the weather. The school district has three built-in snow days in its calendar, listed at year-end in June. There’s no decision yet on when a fourth day will be made up.
“I would like to thank folks for being patient as we made decisions about school closures,” Lynden School District Superintendent Jim Frey said in an email. “Our number one priority is to make decisions based on student safety.”
Lynden Christian School cancelled three days during the storm. Friday was already to be a day off between semesters.
Both Lynden systems had school two hours late on Tuesday before the weather worsened that night. More snow fell on Thursday, on top of at least four inches before. Temperatures were freezing for five straight days, Sunday to Friday.
Due to the weather, Fisher Elementary School had some damage that would have canceled classes there anyway Friday.
Frey said Fisher had a water line come apart on the second floor on the northeast side of the school, which was built in 2017-18. Several thousand gallons of water flooded part of the school. The standing water was taken care of, but some rubber base and ceiling tiles had to be removed due to water damage.
The school is taking precautions against bacteria and mold by applying antibacterial to the surfaces that were exposed to the water. The school was expected to be ready for students on Tuesday, after the Monday holiday, but was using fans to help dry the damaged areas.
Lynden High School also suffered some damage, but it was minor in comparison. A gutter on the gymnasium was temporarily fixed. A permanent fix will happen as weather allows.
Frey also voiced “a big shout-out to our custodians and maintenance crews who have worked so hard to remove snow, make parking lots and sidewalks safe, and take care of our school facilities,” Frey said. “They go above and beyond in some very tough conditions.”
The high school’s semester calendar had to change. The end-of-semester date will be pushed back four days to accommodate all exams and projects, Frey said.
The high school had to cancel its Tolo dance, but it will now be this Saturday, Jan. 25.
Meridian School District had three snow days. Two are built into the district calendar, said Superintendent James Everett. How the third will be made up isn’t known yet.
“We appreciate everyone’s grace and flexibility. Each district has unique geographic features contributing to a decision to have a delay or ultimately cancel school,” Everett said in an email. “Our priority is to ensure safety of our students and staff, while also working to keep the school operating. When it works to communicate a delay the evening before, we will because it is helpful to families for planning purposes, allows for more daylight during the morning commute, provides time for road crews to address road conditions, and may allow for temperatures to rise. That said, a lot can happen overnight.”
Everett said the district’s transportation team would drive the bus routes to assess conditions early in a morning to determine if they could be driven safely.
“Inclement weather is difficult to navigate and we appreciate everyone’s patience,” Everett said.
Meridian’s semester schedule wasn’t affected.The end of the first semester is Thursday, so teachers adjusted their schedules to be flexible with students, Everett said.
Nooksack Valley School District was closed for four days. The school district has two built-in snow make-up days in March, and will add days to the end of the year, according to the district calendar.
Lynden Christian High School was going through exams, and it wasn’t immediately known how that schedule would be adjusted.
Ferndale School District was closed for three days. Snow make-up days are not built directly into the calendar and generally are just added at the end of the school year.