The first winter storm of the season forced dismissal of three education days this week in most area school districts.

Forecasters say that predictions of this winter season indicate that it will look much like it did last season.

A major ice storm fell upon the midwest in the middle of the 2007-08 school year that kept students at home for 10 to 12 days. Many districts vowed they would be more prepared when scheduling the 2008-09 calendar.

Commerce administrators allocated nine days on this year’s calendar for possible dismissals due to inclement weather. May 19, is tentatively scheduled as the last day of classroom instruction. However, students may attend classes until May 29, depending on the number of days missed for bad weather.

In Miami, only one day was built into the calendar as a snow day. As the days are accumulated the school board will revamp the calendar to make up the days, according to administrators.

Quapaw has four snow days built into its schedule.

Quapaw has set aside the last four Fridays in April as additional snow days, if needed.

“If we don’t need them, then we will have a four-day week,” said Superintendent Dennis Earp.

Earp said they will still have spring break and staff development days.

With all the “add-ons,” Dennis said Quapaw has about 10 days that can be used as buffers for inclement weather.

The state allows districts to close school for as many days as administrators deem suitable to accommodate for bad weather. The state does, however, mandate that school districts provide for 180 instructional days each school year.