The New Albany-Plain Local School District used its fifth allotted calamity day Jan. 28.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District used its fifth allotted calamity day Jan. 28.

District spokesman Patrick Gallaway said four of the school days were canceled due to extreme cold.

Students, especially younger children, standing outside waiting on a bus for more than 10 to 15 minutes during the cold weather is unsafe, Gallaway said.

He said district officials also must consider students who walk between school buildings because of the open campus. Middle school and high school students have to enter a separate building for lunch and many have to walk between buildings when changing classes.

Even though the district is out of calamity days, some options remain for the rest of the winter.

Gov. John Kasich has asked the state legislature to consider adding calamity days to this school year.

Gallaway said the district will wait to see if the legislature accepts Kasich's proposal.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board agreed Jan. 27 to study the Ohio Department of Education's alternative to makeup days: the "blizzard bag."

The blizzard bag allows districts to send assignments home with students or have students access assignments online to avoid missing a day of school work.

"The board entertained the idea and gave us the go ahead to look at the potential and to discuss it with staff," Gallaway said.

Next year, the Ohio Department of Education will change calamity days to hours.

Schools will be given a minimum number of hours for instruction, according to the ODE website. If the district has to close several times during the school year and cannot provide the minimum required hours of instruction, it will have to make up the hours of instruction.

The change applies to "traditional school districts, joint vocational school districts and chartered nonpublic schools," according to the ODE website.