(Harrisburg, AR) Schools in the Harrisburg, Ark., school district will re-open Friday after being closed five days because of icy road conditions.
The district closed schools last Friday when a winter storm moved into Poinsett County.
Conditions on rural roads did not improve over the week and shaded areas were too treacherous for bus drivers.
Students there have already used up their snow days, and it’s not even officially winter yet.
Thursday’s blue sky and bright sunshine did little to clear all the roads around Harrisburg, especially those covered by shade.
Conditions on Crowley’s Ridge in Poinsett County improved in sunny areas, but not in those covered by shade.
Administrative Assistant Doug Worley said temperatures have remained well below freezing during the night and early morning hours, and there’s no way to clear all the county roads.
“Right now there’s still some ice on our dirt roads and so student safety is always our primary concern,” said Worley.
So all 1,300 students in the Harrisburg School District have been staying home.
“We missed last Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today, Thursday,” said Worley.
He said five days are all the inclement weather days the district built into its school calendar.
“We were supposed to get out May 28th. That was originally scheduled to be our last student day. As of today, June 2nd is our last student day. Of course any additional snow accumulation or weather events beyond this, those days will just be added to the end of the year,” said Worley.
Bridget Collins has two children who stayed home because of icy roads.
She agrees with the District’s decision to close schools.
“As far as safety-wise, I agree. I think they made a good decision. As far as cabin-fever…I think we all have it,” said Collins.
The days off from school brought no complaints from one group of students we talked with, who found plenty of ways to pass the time.
“Duck huntin’,workin’, hangin’ out,” said Zachary Sloan.
But Sloan, a junior at Harrisburg High School, said his parents are more than ready for the school bell to ring again.
“They say me and my buddies keep on eating all the food. And they’re ready for us to go back,” he said.