Weekend snow delays school for students in mountain areas

FRESNO, Calif.

Many students in the district got a late winter surprise when they woke up in the morning. "This morning I was like yes, there's snow, no school. Then [one] hour late, I was like, 'alright, let's go,'" said Aaron Felkner. Felkner is a senior at Sierra High School and was hoping for a snow day, but a late start to class was just as good.

The district delayed the start of school for one hour. "In the last 35 years, we've probably called school [off] four times. This is the first time we've ever called a late day," said Ben Kimbler, bus services supervisor for the district.

The weekend storm dropped fresh power below the 2,000 foot level in the Sierra foothills. The district waited for crews to clear the roads for school busses to safely transport students. "It was getting hard to get the busses all ready and prepared and get all my drivers in place on time because the drivers still live in this stuff too," said Kimbler. "So we had to get them here on time."

The last time there was a school delay in the district was about a decade ago when the foothills received enough snow to stick on the ground. "But this morning it was quite icy and we probably may have been able to make it on time but we didn't want to put the folks that live up above in jeopardy trying to drive in the icy roads," said Melissa Ireland, superintendent for Sierra Unified.

Parents that live in the foothills were checking to see if school was going to be cancelled. "It is beautiful. We got to sit at home yesterday and actually just watch it snow pretty much all afternoon and then wondering are the kids going to go to school tomorrow," said parent Valerie Adams of Prather.

Although some students were hoping for a snow day, many were happy to enjoy a rare sight. "It's been pretty snowy. We thought spring was coming on and we were warming, getting our shorts and our t-shirts and then all of a sudden, boom, it hits," said Felkner.

Students said they will enjoy the snow before it melts away.

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