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Rural Area Schools Slow to Open

Most highways have been clear for days, but school officials say many back roads are still dangerous, which is why this week many delays at schools continued long after the winter weather hit.
Most highways have been clear for days, but school officials say many back roads are still dangerous, which is why this week many delays continued long after the winter weather hit.

Snow and ice are still in sight on these rural roads. It's why Saint Jo school buses have been at a stand still.

“Our concerns were not only getting the kids to school, but our parking lots and our sidewalks and we certainly didn't want anybody to get hurt once they got to school,” said Saint Jo Superintendent, Larry Smith.

He says it's been several years since they've used both weather days allotted for the school year, but for last week's arctic blast alone, they used three.

“The school was pretty much blanketed with a sheet of ice throughout the campuses. We started to clear off sidewalks Tuesday afternoon,” Smith said.

By Thursday they still hadn't finished the job, and continued to shovel away.

At Gold-Burg ISD things are finally getting back to business as usual.

“The kids are glad to be here, the parents are glad to have them back in school and we are glad to have them back in school and just get on with educating,” said Roger Ellis, the school superintendent.

Ellis says it's the first day back.

County and TxDot crews worked to de-ice the parking lot, so now it's a little bit more manageable.

And though both these schools survived this winter blast they say they still have a way to go.

“It's early yet, we are two days over of what we were going to do. So we will probably apply for two days waiver, and then there is no telling what will happen in January and February,” he said.

Gold-Burg isn't the only school that may be applying for waivers for exceeding the allocated weather days.

Forestburg and Nocona were also closed until Thursday.

And Saint Jo officials say they haven't decided whether or not they will allow buses to run their routes Friday.
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