On Tuesday, April 9, students and staff in the Hills-Beaver Creek School District stayed in class for a full day while other districts were sending students home early due to poor weather.
While the students were in school, ice began to accumulate on area power lines, and by the day’s end power was out for most of the families in the district.
The power and continuing storm forced the district to cancel classed on Wednesday and Thursday as well.
Although the weather had cleared by Friday, the district could not hold classes without power —bringing the total days closed to three.
It is unclear if the school days will impact the scheduled end of school year, which for the time being is set for Friday, May 16. The School Board will discuss it at the next meeting.
The district’s properties were not damaged during the storm, although there was extensive tree loss. Superintendent Todd Holthaus said the majority of the damage was in fallen trees at the old junior/senior high school, the elementary school and football field site.
The loss of power caused the district to discard refrigerated items at both the junior/senior high school and the elementary school.
Items in the walk-in freezer were saved, thanks to a rented generator that ensured the freezer’s temperature was maintained.
Holthaus said, “Thanks to Doug Chapman for his assistance on this. It was greatly appreciated.”
When power was restored personnel took measures to slowly turn on equipment to protect electronics.
Last week’s forced break delayed the start date of district testing. The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments were scheduled to begin last week.
Two testing sessions need to be rescheduled.
Holthaus said, “It will not be a real problem — more of an inconvenience than anything.”
Several high school spring sporting events were canceled and will now have to be rescheduled.