Winter weather challenges affected post-holiday school schedules and caused school buses to have mechanical problems.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools in North Carolina posted on Facebook that a two-hour delay would be in effect on Tuesday, the first day back to school after holiday break, “due to frigid temperatures and the inactivity of our transportation equipment over the break.”
“If folks were worried about the equipment, why didn’t they check things out today? Or late last week? We have an equipment run-off at work during long shutdowns for this very reason...” read a comment on the post.
The same day in North Carolina’s Wake County Public School System, the website listed delays of 20 to 60 minutes on several bus routes “due to mechanical issues.” All schools released two hours early on Wednesday. Amid a flurry of questions and complaints on Twitter, one user thanked the Wake County school bus drivers and mechanics who "get up early in the cold to get our kids back and forth safely without nearly enough recognition."
On Wednesday, all Edgecombe County Public Schools in North Carolina were delayed three hours because of extreme cold and a wind chill advisory. “This will give our transportation and maintenance teams adequate time to ensure that our buses start and the heating systems in our schools are fully operational before students arrive,” the district posted on Facebook. It was later announced that school would let out three hours early due to threats of severe weather.
Erie’s Public Schools in Pennsylvania canceled school on Tuesday “due to concerns about student safety and snow removal” and asked parents to help in clearing sidewalks for student walkers. “As this week continues, parents should remain aware that many city sidewalks are still impassable for student walkers and there may be some continued delays in bus schedules due to street conditions,” said a website notice on Wednesday.
Dr. Kelly Clenchy, Superintendent of Littlefield Public Schools in Massachusetts, posted updates on Twitter starting early Tuesday morning. After being informed that morning by the bus company that the buses were stalling, classes were delayed by two hours. “Bus drivers will drive the routes in their cars and ensure that all students have appropriate supports,” said Clenchy.
Boston Public School families were advised by Superintendent Tommy Chang on tips to stay warm while traveling to and from school. “Due to the forecast of heavy snow, all BPS schools will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, January 4. All school buses will not be running.” the district posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
The West Virginia Department of Education has a page on its website that provides up-to-date information on school bus delays or school closings for all counties. As of Wednesday morning, most schools were delayed several hours.
“As students return to school, remember to dress appropriately for winter weather when walking to school or waiting on the bus,” Berkeley County Schools advised on Twitter. “A coat, hat boots and gloves are essential. Advise children to wait safe distance from the road for buses & pay extra attention to footing when walking.”
The cold weather is forecasted to continue, per a warning by the U.S. National Weather Service. “A winter storm is forecast to bring the potential for a mix of freezing rain/sleet/snow from portions of northern Florida to South Carolina, and snowfall northward along portions of the Mid-Atlantic into northern New England,” a Facebook post on Tuesday said. “This system has the potential to produce strong, damaging winds possibly resulting in downed trees and/or power outages.”