Local News

Wake County Bus Drivers Have Busy Day

Posted February 17, 2004 5:31 a.m. EST

— A steady Tuesday morning snowfall did not keep buses or students from arriving at Wake County schools.

"Everybody was jittery and wondering what they were going to do, but we had to get everyone to school and wait for the word, so we've been doing a lot of running," bus driver Claudia Cobb said.

Several hours later, the bus drivers were running back to pick up the very same students after Wake County released its schools three hours early.

"We thought it be prudent that we release early, so we get the students home while it's still light, avoid rush hour and before any other bad weather comes in," said Michael Evans, spokesman for Wake County Schools.

When schools let out early, principals have to deal with getting hundreds of kids onto buses and into carpools. It may be a lot of work, but many principals said considering the winter the Triangle has seen, they are used to it.

"It's not a negative for us. Middle school kids are so excited to begin with that," principal Ken Branch said. "When you add a layer of snow and the possibility of getting out on top of that, it makes them even more excited."

"You should have heard the class. Everybody was going crazy," student Josh Jarmin said.

Many parents said they expected schools to let out early, so they stayed close-by until the call was made.

"You just kind of know they're going to close schools early," parent Lori King said. "I don't work, so it's easy for me, but when I used to work, it was hard because my boss would say after so many times, 'We need you here.'"

This year, Wake County schools have already scheduled four makeup days. There are five alternate makeup days on the calendar in case more are needed. Officials said Tuesday will count as a full day of school.