At week's end, the Marysville Exempted Village School District had used four of its five calamity days for the 2008-2009 school year.

At week's end, the Marysville Exempted Village School District had used four of its five calamity days for the 2008-2009 school year.

The state mandates a minimum of 175 instructional days for public school districts. Marysville, like most districts, schedules 180, allowing for five calamity days.

"If we go over five, we'll make up the days in June," Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said the decision to delay or cancel school is one of the most scrutinized that he makes.

"I had people calling Thursday wondering why we were in school, and people Friday wondering why we weren't," he said.

Friday's road situation was complicated by drifting snow, he said.

Zimmerman said district administrators drive roads throughout the district both at night and in the early morning, communicate with county authorities on the status of snow removal and stay in touch with surrounding districts before making delay or cancellation decisions.

"(The district) is 148 square miles," he said. "I worry not only about the buses but also our high school kids driving."

At last Monday's board meeting, district operations manager Steve Ader made a presentation to board members on a new, automated notification system for delays and cancellations as well as other district and school information.

While it might have come in handy last week, the system is still being implemented and is not ready for full use.

Part of the cost-reduction package passed by the school board last year was the elimination of high school busing.

The district went from running two trips in the morning and afternoon to one, carrying middle and elementary school students at the same time.

Zimmerman told board members at last Monday's meeting that the administration has been looking at the possibility of going back to two routes for the start of next school year.

"It's not going to be the same as what we had (before the budget cuts)," he told ThisWeek. "But I've challenged our staff to find ways to accomplish as much as we can, within budget."

He said the district's experience with cluster stops this year has given administrators a better understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. Utilizing more cluster stops as well as examining multiple routing options through the use of newly available software are ways the district might be able to offer the double routes and stay within budget, Zimmerman said.

"It's been a top priority," he said.