02/02/10 — Icy roads close schools one more day in county

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Icy roads close schools one more day in county

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 2, 2010 1:46 PM

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Summer Rose, 11, and her brother Paul ride their sled, with a little help from their father, Bill, on a hill off Wayne Memorial Drive on Monday. Cold temperatures helped keep a lot of the ice and snow from Saturday's storm around and schools were closed, giving youngsters a second straight day of outdoor fun.

Students had another day off from school today.

Officials from Wayne County Public Schools made the decision late Monday afternoon to cancel classes for the second day following the weekend storm that resulted in a snow-and-ice mix that clogged many roadways.

Outlying rural and secondary roads prompted the decision, said Ken Derksen, public relations officer for the district.

He said areas to the extreme northern end of the county, near the Wilson County line, and to the far south were particularly a concern, should freezing temperatures overnight Monday cause roadways to refreeze.

With some buses heading out as early as 5 a.m. to begin their routes, plus the fact that buses cover some 12,000 miles a day picking up and dropping off riders, Derksen said the decision to call off classes seemed appropriate.

"The school district has been monitoring the weather and having people check the roads," he said. "The district erred on the side of caution, recognizing there are still some secondary roads that still have some slick spots, some shady areas that the sun wasn't able to melt yesterday."

Some forecasters predicted the possibility of freezing rain this morning, which would have contributed to slippery road conditions, Derksen said. The safety of students and staff deemed the cancellation of classes necessary.

At the same time, it is not technically a day off for school personnel, he added.

Teachers and staff are required to report to work, utilizing several options -- among them going in two hours late, reporting to another school, taking annual leave or personal leave, or making up the time later.

Officials are taking a wait- and-see approach about whether or not classes will resume on Wednesday.

"The main thing is, we're just going to continue keeping an eye on the roadways throughout the day, stay in touch with the National Weather Service and then determine if further delays or cancellations will be made," Derksen said.