Rowan-Salisbury Schools closed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
Power outages that forced the Rowan-Salisbury School System to cancel classes for the day won’t wreak havoc on the school system’s schedule.
Spokeswoman Rita Foil said students won’t have to make up the day.
“Since children were already arriving at school, the day is counted as a school day,” she said in an e-mail to the Post.
Foil said about 20 of the district’s 35 schools were without power this morning.
The school system sent out an automated phone message notifying parents that schools would be closed for the day after some students had already arrived at school.
“There was no communication to our district about power outages until after the buses began rolling early this morning, which is approximately 5 a.m.,” Foil said in an e-mail to the Post. “An emergency Connect-ED message was sent out as soon as possible, because of the power outages the message did not go out as quickly as it would have under more normal conditions.”
Ann Furr said when she pulled up to drop her daughter Micah off at Erwin Middle School she was greeted with a pink poster that said “no school.”
“I’m just a little frustrated that I didn’t receive a call until I returned home and there was a message on my answering machine at 7:48 a.m.,” she said. “Is this the best we can do?”
Keith Davidson picked his son, Chase, up from Overton Elementary this morning after getting a call from his wife shortly after dropping him off.
“There’s been a lot of confusion this morning,” he said. “Just poor communication.”
Antonio McCullough said he didn’t find out school was canceled until after he dropped his son Antonio Jr. off at the bus stop for Overton and arrived back home to get ready for work.
“They could have contacted people a little sooner, but I think they handled it to the best of their ability,” he said.
Students who ride the bus were loaded back onto the bus and taken home, while car riders’ parents were contacted to pick them up.  
“It is our district’s policy that school buses that return students home will keep the elementary students on the bus if there is no one at the home,” Foil said.
Foil said those students were taken back to school and emergency contact calls have been made to their families.
Overton Elementary Principal Betty Tunks said her staff will be on hand the entire day with children who do not have parents at home.
North Rowan Elementary Principal Rick Hampton said all of his students were “safe, sound and secure” back at home this morning shortly before 9 a.m. this morning.
He said about a dozen car riders arrived before the school system decided to cancel classes, but all of those students were picked back up.
“We were able to stop some of the busses en route and get them turned around,” he said.
Read the complete story in Wednesday’s Post.