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CMS Schools Prepare To Reopen As Students, Parents Enjoy Snow Day

Cole del Charco
On Tuesday, Barnette Elementary School prepared by re-salting and shoveling sidewalks near the main entrance of the school.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are all back Wednesday after 35 campuses were closed Tuesday due to the storm. There was a scramble in the northern part of the district to get schools ready while students who were off found ways to entertain themselves.

Tuesday, some CMS employees were working to clear snow and ice in hopes that they could open Wednesday.

Credit Cole del Charco / WFAE
CMS employees shoveled, and used a truck to plow the parking lot.

At Barnette Elementary School, three people were shoveling sidewalks while a CMS truck with a snowplow attached to the front scraped the parking lot.

Andres Pena was one of the shovelers and said he’d been out since 7 a.m.

At a shopping center nearby in Huntersville, students from Hopewell High School, Bradley Middle School, East Lincoln High and Middle School were hanging out on their day off.

Jenny Purtill was with her two kids. She teaches at Barnette Elementary School and was hopeful school would resume Wednesday.

Purtill and her children had spent their day off cleaning the house, shopping and working from home.

But most schools in the district weren't closed Tuesday — they operated on a two-hour delay. CMS said in a statement that the determination for closing some schools and not others was not a policy decision, but was based on prioritizing safety.

Home schools in hazardous areas and magnet schools with students who had to travel from areas in the northern part of the county most impacted by the storm were closed. Other schools were closed because they lost power.

According to CMS, it was the first time that more than one or two schools had closed due to weather while a large number were open on the same day.

Credit Cole del Charco / WFAE
Hopewell High School was another one of the 35 CMS campuses closed again on Tuesday.

At the shopping center in Huntersville, some parents and children were passing the second snow day by shopping or going out to eat, like Erim Alexanian and his three children.

“We had a rare opportunity to eat lunch together as a family, and so that was a lot of fun,” Alexanian said. “Now [we're] walking around, walking it off.”

The Alexanians go to South Lake Christian Academy in Lake Norman, which is a private school. Alexanian expects they’ll have school today, despite the wishes of his oldest daughter, Maddie, who has exams.

“If school gets canceled I’ll be very happy,” Maddie said. But she and her father both agreed it wouldn’t be.

“So study,” Mr. Alexanian told his daughter with a laugh.

At schools where water and snow were still present near entrances and in parking lots yesterday, black ice could continue to be an issue — especially since the National Weather Service forecasts it won’t get above freezing until after school starts.

Schools around the county did put out salt in preparation to reopen.