09/04/05 — School watch gas supplies

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School watch gas supplies

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 4, 2005 2:06 AM

Rumors swirled at week's end that Wayne County Public Schools was considering extending the Labor Day holiday on Monday and closing down schools for the week as a way to conserve fuel needed to operate its transportation system.

Officials said Friday afternoon that was not the case and that it will be business as usual this week.

A few adjustments will be required, though.

"There's always rumors," said Olivia Pierce, executive director for community relations. "Our goal is to maintain the educational process."

She said it is the school system's top priority to operate as consistently as possible. Officials held meetings Thursday and Friday to discuss fuel concerns, deciding to implement several measures to address the shortage.

Some of the conservation plans were in compliance with requests made by Gov. Mike Easley and the Department of Public Instruction, Mrs. Pierce said.

Among the measures implemented will be canceling any school field trips through September. Likewise, non-essential professional travel will be suspended until further notice.

Centralized mail delivery to schools will be cut to two days a week, with grass at the schools to be cut only if it impacts safety. Service vehicles for schools, including maintenance vehicles, will only be sent out for essential or critical purposes.

Driver's education programs will continue for the classroom portion, but the driving instruction will be suspended for the time being, Mrs. Pierce said. The status of athletic activities will be assessed on a weekly basis.

"We have assessed our situation and are making adjustments as needed based on the crisis in the Gulf that has impacted our state and our nation," Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said. "We are making every effort to ensure we continue our delivery of service to students without interruption, understanding that some measures may have to be taken given the daily status of the situation. We will keep staff, parents and students advised of any measures that will impact them directly."