Public schools were not immune to the half-inch of ice that coated York County Wednesday, and the aftermath continued into Thursday.
Six schools remained closed Thursday, with most citing power outages in school buildings and numerous closed roads in the district that rendered bus routes impassable as the reason.
Only two of the schools in the Southern York School District had power as of Thursday morning, and even then it wasn't stable in those buildings, Superintendent Thomas Hensley said.
Hensley said the schools couldn't operate without heat. But he emphasized a larger issue was about 17 roads in the district still closed Thursday morning because of fallen trees and power lines.
If the district doesn't have any more closings because of weather, Hensley said the last student day will be Monday, June 9.
At Dover: Dover Area schools were also closed Thursday because of the number of closed roads.
"It was going to be a logistical nightmare," Acting Superintendent Jason Conway said. Conway said numerous buses would have needed to be rerouted, and many buses would have been unable to reach a number of student bus stops.
Conway said the goal is to give crews another day to clear the road, and then the mentality will switch for tomorrow.
"We want to be able to provide warm place with a hot meal" for students who may still be without power Friday, Conway said.
The roads still posed a problem for schools that were able to open, including the Northeastern district. The district had power in all of its buildings by 6 p.m. Wednesday night, and since the roads were clear despite some downed trees, Superintendent Shawn Minnich opened the schools after a two-hour delay.
Safety first: The focus of the bus drivers was to get students to school safely, even if that meant arriving a little late, Minnich said. And several buses did need to adjust their routes because of trees in their path, he said.
The district told parents that if they felt their children could not get to school safely today, it would be an excused absence. But even with closed roads, Minnich said attendance was only about 11 or 12 percent less than a normal day. About 83 percent of the district's students made it to school.
Even before winter weather hit again this week, Northeastern was trying to determine how to make up snow days. The school year is scheduled until June 12 right now, but there are at least three days additional days that need to be made up. Minnich said the school board will discuss how to make up those days at its Feb. 17 meeting.
High attendance: The Dallastown Area School District had its power completely restored Wednesday and also opened after a two-hour delay. Superintendent Ron Dyer said he wasn't sure what to expect, as the district was excusing absences if parents had safety concerns about their children traveling to school.
But Dyer was "amazed" at the 91 percent attendance rate across the district Thursday. Some schools only had five children missing. Others with enrollments of 600 students were only missing about 14.
Dyer said the district communicated with parents and found ways for children to attend school if there were transportation issues.
"We just think it's been a nice team effort," Dyer said.
But school officials are still hoping for the sunshine at the end of the snow tunnel.
"We just have to try to persevere for the next four to six weeks," Hensley said.
— Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.