Schools blasted again for response to winter weather
Posted February 24, 2015
Durham, N.C. — School leaders scrambled Tuesday morning when they woke to light but fast-falling snow showers.
In Moore County, schools were open and on schedule, much to the dismay of students who posted photos on Twitter of snowy roads.
"Moore County Schools is monitoring the weather and will make decisions accordingly," Amber Rach, community relations advisor for the system said.
"Our current plan is to keep our children at school until road conditions are most favorable for their return home, which may be the normal end of the school day."
Parents had the opportunity to pick students up with no impact on their attendance records, Rach said, but that wasn't an option that every family could take advantage of. Most students spent the full day in school.
"I didn't want my kids to miss after being absent all last week," said Brandy Brown.
"But when I looked outside and the roads were getting worse and they said they're 'monitoring the conditions of the roads?' Get real," she said.
The school system did cancel afterschool activities. The Concept High School Forum, scheduled at Union Pines High School at 6 p.m., was postponed until Tuesday, March 10.
The superintendent said his team made the decision to remain open at 5 a.m. with forecast information they had at that time.
The policy in Moore County is that once buses start rolling, they do not turn back.
Conditions on main roads improved by late afternoon, but secondary roads remained snow-covered and a number of fender-benders were reported across the county. At least one school bus was involved in a crash when a vehicle rear-ended it, but there were no reports of injuries to students on the roads.
In Durham and Wake counties, schools first posted delays before dawn but some students were already on their buses. By 7:30 a.m., with snow continuing to fall, both school systems canceled classes for the day.
A spokeswoman for Durham public schools said the system tries to balance safety and timeliness.
"We don't want to do that any more than kids or parents," she said about delaying or closing school. "But sometimes the weather conditions demand that we wait, consider carefully, and be prepared to change gears if needed."
In Wake County, buses were also rolling when a two-hour delay was announced in the 6 o'clock hour. A spokesman for the school system Department of Transportation said buses would turn around and return students to their stops.
Nash-Rocky Mount students made it to class but did not stay. The school systems announced that it would dismiss secondary schools at 9 a.m. and elementary schools at 9:45 a.m.