CPS resumes after 2 snow days

February 4, 2011 3:06:35 PM PST
After two snow days, Chicago Public School students headed back to school Friday. But for some, it was a rough trek as they made their way through piles of snow on side streets.

The city's main streets have been cleared. Plows have now been working on the side streets. After more than 20 inches of snow, however, the process is very slow.

Despite the snow-packed side streets, many CPS students made their way back to class Friday morning after the blizzard canceled school Wednesday and Thursday. It was the first time in 12 years that public school classes were canceled because of snow.

But yellow buses which bring 24,000 Chicago Public School students to and from school weren't running.

Without buses, many kids likely stayed home. Students had the option to attend class at a different Chicago public school which is closest to their home.

"It's hard because of all the snow. You can never know if there's ice, so you can slip," said Julio Amariz, Evergreen Academy student.

Getting around the piles of snow is a challenge for children who walk to school everyday in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

"It's very hard to walk in the snow," said Daniel Vela, Evergreen Academy student.

"We have to go the streets, 'cause they haven't cleaned them. We don't want to get our shoes dirty, so we have to take the street," said Jesus Diaz, Evergreen Academy student.

"A lot of sidewalks haven't been cleared off, so the problem is trying to walk along the snow and get them to school," said Fransico Narez, parent

"I go to after-school and I want to learn more," said Maria Serbants, Greene Elementary. "I like the snow."

CPS officials also say they chose not to send buses out because doing so would also put 11,000 special needs students at risk who are bused.

In the meanwhile, 274 city snow fighters are focusing on the side roads so bus service can resume on Monday.

"Because it's no fault of their own, no student will be penalized for a missed day today, if they have an absence or excuse from their parent, which means that all of the young people who are striving for perfect attendance, their streaks are intact," said Terry Mazany, CPS CEO.