- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Area school systems will remain closed again today as crews continue to plow roads and parents hustle to make day care arrangements for children who may not return to classrooms until next week.
Fairfax County Public Schools decided early yesterday to cancel today's classes. Also making the call were school officials in Alexandria, Arlington, Prince George's County, Montgomery County and the District.
Most of the school systems have used their allotted snow days for the year, and many will have to either add additional days to the end of the school year or consider making up days during spring break.
After a weekend storm dumped up to 26 inches of snow across the region, school administrators were coordinating their efforts with city and state cleanup crews to get schools ready to reopen.
Athena Ware, spokeswoman for the Prince George's County school system, said Chief Executive Officer Iris J. Metts made the decision to close about noon yesterday based on concerns about students' safety.
"We transport over 90,000 student on buses. Schools were closed to allow the county and school employees to clear school parking lots along with side roads and streets. We will continue to monitor the situation with the county, and we hope to open on Thursday," said Ms. Ware.
She said buses need access to the schools and employees need to be able to find parking.
"A lot goes into the cleanup," Ms. Ware said.
Brian Porter, spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools, said campuses and administrative offices will be closed today. Superintendent Jerry Weast made the call about 3:35 p.m. yesterday.
Superintendent Paul Vance decided to close D.C. schools after spending the past two days touring their premises.
He said he was pleased with the work of clearing snow around school buildings, but sidewalks and side streets were another matter, said Linda Wharton Boyd, the system's chief communications officer.
Although classes have been canceled, she said, administrative offices will open on time today.
Mountainous drifts of snow remain on sidewalks and streets in D.C. neighborhoods, and some parents are skeptical about schools opening before next week.
"There's a good possibility because of all of the snow here that District schools will not be back in session until Monday maybe Friday at the earliest," said Beato Reyes, 36, whose daughter attends Raymond Elementary School in Northwest.
Mr. Reyes, 36, who was out yesterday shoveling mounds of snow away from his car, said his wife will have to stay home from work to care for their two children until schools are back in session.

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