After last week’s historic snowfalls in the mid-Atlantic region, community members grabbed their shovels and pitched in to help schools reopen this week.
Officials in many school districts called on local residents to help clear paths to schools and bus stops to prevent children from walking in the streets.
“Please look at the area surrounding your house and the school nearest to you — from the perspective of a much smaller elementary student trying to get there — and do what you can to help carve out a safe path,” William Hite Jr., superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, said in a message to the community.
Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia urged volunteers to bring their own shovels and snow blowers to help clear sidewalks, walkways and bus stops on Monday to allow students to get to school safely — and schools to reopen as quickly as possible.
Residents heeded school districts’ requests for help, and most schools in the region were scheduled to open today or Wednesday. Many are delaying start times this week to further enhance safety.
“Throughout the historic snowfalls this month, the primary concern of Baltimore County Public Schools has been the safety of students and staff, but we are also eager to get back to teaching and learning,” Superintendent Joe Hairston said. “To increase safety in the snow, opening late will allow students to travel in daylight and buses to avoid morning traffic.”
The Baltimore district planned to open two hours late from Wednesday to Friday and to have no morning pre-kindergarten on those days. Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland planned to do the same.
At District of Columbia Public Schools, all schools and administrative offices were scheduled to open on time today and operate as usual.
Loudon County Public Schools in Virginia alerted the community that many bus stops would be modified today, providing a list of roads that were impassable for buses and alternative stop locations for students on those roads. Special-needs transportation service was to be handled on a case-by-case basis.