Hard work from schools' maintenance departments and area public works departments isn't enough to get all students back in school Thursday.
Catawba County Schools and Hickory Public Schools canceled classes for students Thursday, after surveying roads Wednesday afternoon. Newton-Conover City Schools will operate on a two-hour delay Thursday.
"Our maintenance department has been working, since the snow and sleet stopped falling, to clear walkways and partial areas of the parking lots for staff," said CCS interim superintendent Glenn Barger in an e-mail to staff Wednesday.
NCCS superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond said Newton and Conover roads are clear to allow students to return to school Thursday.
"I checked the roads everywhere, and there's no issue," Redmond said. "A two-hour delay will give people more time for the temperatures to come up and to see (roads) better."
CCS and HPS deemed Thursday as an optional teacher workday on a three-hour delay.
"The best we feel safe in doing is to bring staff back to school on Thursday," Barger said. "Even with that, some roads will continue to be icy. Employees need to make their decision whether to travel to work or not based on their personal safety."
Barger tentatively set two plans for make-up days.
If CCS students return to school Friday, the day will start on a delay and Saturday will be a make-up day. Saturday will also start on a delay.
However, if Friday school is canceled, there will be no Saturday school for CCS students.
Possible dates for CCS make-up days are Jan. 17, Jan. 24, Jan. 25, Feb. 21 and March 28. This will leave no other holidays for students until spring break in April.
The first make-up date for NCCS students is Jan. 15 with a regular start time, weather permitting. On Saturday, dismiss times are as follows: NCCS elementary schools at 1 p.m.; Newton-Conover Middle School is at 1:15 p.m.; Newton-Conover High School is at 12:40 p.m.; and The Newton School is at 12:50 p.m.
Other make-up dates are Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and Feb. 21.
Conover School and the ACT program will follow the schedule for the Catawba County Schools system.