The recent blast of winter weather has caused Pickerington schools to use all five of the "calamity days" allowed by the state.

The recent blast of winter weather has caused Pickerington schools to use all five of the "calamity days" allowed by the state.

Harmon Elementary was closed Jan. 29 because of a broken water line, which means it has been closed for six days this school year. Students who attend that school will have to make up one day of classes.

The state allows five calamity days before districts must make them up. The allotment will drop to three days for the 2010-11 school year.

PLSD Assistant Superintendent Jim Sotlar said any make-up days will be added to the end of the school year. The last day of class is scheduled for June 9.

"Harmon will have to make up at least one day," Sotlar said. "Hopefully, that's it."

Sotlar said Pickerington schools haven't been forced to make up days since a September 2008 windstorm caused electrical outages at an elementary school.

As for determining when school should be cancelled, he said a number of factors come into play. These include test runs by several district officials, including Sotlar himself, who drive on the streets the nights and mornings prior to school when inclement weather hits.

"We have several guys that go out at nighttime and in the mornings," he said. "We travel the roads to see the conditions of the roads, of the developments and how the sidewalks are looking.

"There are a number of things that go into it, most importantly what the forecast looks like," he said. "Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our kids and staff. We want to make sure we get kids safely to school and get them home safely."