ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – Governor Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency for schools affected by the week’s winter weather, meaning the days lost won’t have to be made up.
For athletic departments, multiple basketball games fell within the days schools were closed.
Mississippi wasn’t feeling itself the past couple of days, but school districts already have plans should cold weather hit.
“There are policies that kind of range all over the board in the state of Mississippi,” said Choctaw County Schools Superintendent, Glen Beard.
Smaller holidays take the fall to make up for the snowfall.
“You have built in days, snow days if you will, for example President’s Day and the Monday after Easter, generally, for possible snow make-up days,” explained Beard.
Thanks to Governor Bryant’s State of Emergency, those snow days wont have to be used.
For athletic departments, scheduling around school closings can be confusing.
“It throws a kink in things,” said Choctaw County Athletic Director, Ben Ashley. “I mean, you make a schedule and you plan on playing those games. Then, all of a sudden, Mother Nature hits, and you know, you have to take into account the safety of your kids.”
“You have to look and see when your district games are and whether or not you can fit those extra games that you may have missed,” added Beard.
The economic impact can hurt smaller athletic departments, if those games can’t be made up.
“You count on that income if you’re playing a home basketball game,” said Ashley.
For Choctaw County, they almost had to cancel one of their largest athletic events, The Mid Mississippi Challenge.
“This is a big fundraiser for us, a money maker,” described Ashley. “We’ve got 12 different schools coming here tomorrow, so we expect a really big crowd and a lot of interest in this tournament. If we had lost something like that, that would’ve definitely played an impact on the income coming into our basketball program.”
Fortunately for them, the weather decided to warm up.
“It’s a bit more temperate, a little bit kinder, I suppose, then what we’ve been experiencing in the last week,” said Ashley.
Choctaw County’s basketball teams missed three games, two home and one away, but athletic director Ben Ashley tell me they’ll be able to make up all three.