REPUBLIC, Mo. -

It has been a tougher-than-normal winter in the Ozarks, by all accounts, and schools in the Ozarks feel the impact.  Republic is just one of the districts that missed more days this year than ever before.

Republic students, overall, were thrilled to be back in school with their friends and teacher after missing both Monday and Tuesday due to winter weather.

"I think the biggest challenge is trying to get kids back in the routine, because they slip out of it so easily.   It's kind of hard to get them drawn back in," said Kristi Laster, a first grade teacher.

Teachers are working to prepare their kids for the ever-closer date of state testing.
Republic was able to move its test dates from mid-April to the end of April.

"Those teachers still need to get that information in in the allotted amount of time," said Republic School District Superintendent Chance Wistrom.

Wistrom said  it will be tough to cram in the remaining lessons, but cancelling classes was a call they had to make.  The district also includes part of the City of Battlefield and includes many rural routes as well.

"The challenge we face is safety -- keeping our children safe, getting them to school safely," Wistrom said.

Teachers said they understand the reasoning behind snow days, and they will do everything they can to prepare their students.

"There's always that concern -- 'Will they be ready?' -- every year, and we work our hardest to make sure they're ready," Laster said.

The historic number of missed days is also leading to an extended school calendar.  Teachers and students will be in school through June 6.   However, seniors will still get their diplomas on May 18.