No school Friday in Rowan-Salisbury, Kannapolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2011

By Elizabeth Cook
Icy patches on secondary roads have prompted Rowan-Salisbury and Kannapolis school system officials to call off classes for the fifth straight day.
“I know everybody’s disappointed,” said Gene Miller, Rowan-Salisbury’s assistant superintendent for operations, “and no one more than I am.
“It’s just too iffy to try to put buses out there.”
Roads in the eastern and northern areas of the county are particularly bad, he said.
School officials sent the Post photos of icy patches on Parks Road, Rainey Road, Walnut Street in Granite Quarry, Suggs Avenue off Faith Road and Lippard Road, off Glover Road.
A Post photographer encountered the same on Kluttz Road.
The roads are clear in most places, he said, but here and there they have patches of ice. “It’s not just a little patch, it’s big patches — 15, 20, 30 yards,”?Miller said.
“We’re afraid if we put buses on the road they’re going to slip and slide.” They could wind up in the ditch, he said.  
School officials are also concerned about high school students who drive themselves to school, and parents who take their children to school, Miller said.
The Department of Transportation has been scraping the roads, he said, but the scrapers could only go so low to avoid damaging pavement. That leaves a thin, slick layer of packed snow and ice.
“The DOT is doing a yeoman’s job,” Miller said.
Miller said he could not recall a time when the schools had closed five straight days because of ice and snow. He was with the system from 1995 to 2002 before taking a job elsewhere, and returned in 2007.
Between a December ice storm and later winter snow, schools closed in the winter of 2002-03 for eight days.
Kannapolis School System officials also said icy secondary roads forced the fifth day of canceled classes Friday.
Kannapolis also announced that — as in the Rowan-Salisbury system — students will attend classes on Jan. 22, a Saturday, to make up one of those missed days. Unlike Rowan-Salisbury, which will also have school that Saturday but will dismiss three hours early, Kannapolis students will go a full day.
Any student scheduled to take the SAT test that day will be excused, officials in both systems have said.