January 30th , 2014 9:58 am Leave a comment

Snow days piling up for students in Carter County

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1Aa-FEA-BusFleet-Shelved

Photo by Bryan Stevens
Elizabethton School System’s school bus fleet remained grounded another day Wednesday after more snow fell and the frigid cold increased its grip on the region.

After yet another round of arctic air and snow showers, schools were closed Wednesday because of treacherous road conditions.

With the latest schedule change, the Elizabethton City School system had used four of the six inclement weather days that were built in to the school calendar.

For Carter County Schools students, the countdown determining how many spring break days they will get to take has already begun. As of today, children attending Carter County Schools had lost two days of spring break, which is scheduled for March 24-28.

ECS Director of Schools Ed Alexander had thought his system would use another snow day today in view of the slick and snowy conditions that were present on Wednesday.

“It’s ugly out there,” Alexander said Wednesday morning. “The roads are in bad shape and with the temperatures the way they are, I can’t see that it will improve enough for them to go tomorrow (Thursday).”

However, Mother Nature cooperated and road conditions in the city improved enough for students to return to classes today on a two-hour delay.

The city schools have been closed due to snow and cold on Jan. 7, 8, 28 and 29. The system has been on previous two-hour delays on Jan. 6, 22 and 23. Alexander explained any two-hour delay does not count against the days missed. Students must attend school for three hours and 16 minutes for it to count as a full school day.

Alexander said any decision to close or change the city school schedule is one that is not made lightly.

If there is any question about whether the students should come to school, Alexander said he drives the city streets himself starting at 4:30 or 5 a.m.

“I go to spots that have had problems in the past, places where the roads dip down,” he said. “I check the school parking lots, especially at the high school where the students will be driving.”

If the schedule will be changed, Alexander alerts the assistant superintendent, who sends out an alert to the parents. Notices are also sent to the media, and the transportation supervisor alerts the bus drivers.

To see the rest of this story, log on to the Elizabethton Star’s e-edition or pick up a copy of our award-winning print edition, available through subscriptions, in boxes and at vendors throughout Carter and Johnson counties. The e-edition is free to subscribers. Others may pay a daily, weekly or monthly fee to access the e-edition.

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