Reporting Laura Bonnell
BERKLEY (WWJ) - To close, or not to close? It was a tough call for Southeast Michigan school administrators, Wednesday morning, following a winter storm that brought slush, sleet and 2-5 inches of snow to the region.
Hundreds of Michigan schools declared a “snow day” — including several community colleges, the Detroit Public Schools, and all public schools in Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Sanilac counties.
The Berkley school district was one of only three districts in Oakland County to stay open.
Spokeswoman Jessica Stillger said the decision was made at 4:30 a.m.
“For us, we knew that our maintenance crew … had our parking lots clear and our sidewalks clear, so we knew our school community would have been OK — but we also have to weigh the factor of the transportation issue,” Stillger said. “The Royal Oak superintendent I belive, went outside and looked at the roads and conditions and connected with his maintenance, and they felt that the roads and the sidewalks were in good enough shape to stay open.”
Stillger said the district’s Facebook page was packed with comments from parents.
“Early this morning people seemed very upset that we had remained open when everyone else had closed. As the morning progressed, we’ve had many more comments … from parents and family members said that they were glad we opened, kids should be in school, and that the roads really weren’t that bad,” Stillger said.
She said Berkley is considered a “walking district.”
Special needs students are transported by buses provided by Royal Oak schools.
Kids expressed mixed feelings as they filed into Shrine Catholic High School at 13 Mile Road near Woodward — although most weren’t too pleased.
“Like, I live on one of those back streets and just trying to get out of our street was a mess,” one teen told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Laura Bonnell.
Said another student, “It just kinda stinks, ya know … couldn’t drive to school this morning, had to have my dad drive me. And it’s just a bummer ’cause I’d like to have a day off.”
Not all were prepared.
“I’d rather be asleep, but I’m here — and I didn’t finish my homework,” one young lady admitted.
A winter weather advisory, set to expire at noon, expired early.