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Students hope for school cancellation

December 16, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - A flurry of singing, shouting and high-kick leaping greeted the end of school Thursday as snow covered the area.

"Let it snow, let it snow," Jackie Madison sang, a little off-key, as she walked to her bus outside E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

Jackie, 12, and students throughout the county were released from schools 2 1/2 hours early in anticipation of bad weather. Williamsport schools were closed because of a broken water main, according to the school system Web site.

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A slow-developing storm dumped 0.49 inches of mixed precipitation as of 9:25 p.m. Thursday, according to i4weather.net.

Washington County Public Schools administrators were to decide this morning whether to open schools today, Transportation Director Chris Carter said Thursday afternoon.

"We'll look at the situation when we're back out on the roads at 3 o'clock," Carter said.

Like Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown Community College, and Greencastle-Antrim and Chambersburg Area school districts in Pennsylvania, also closed early Thursday. School was canceled for students in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia.

If Washington County cancels school for the second straight Friday, don't expect Debra Isenberger to be upset.

"I love it, I'm just a big kid," Isenberger said as she swiped clean her slate-gray Chevrolet Impala.

Isenberger teaches sixth-grade English/language arts at E. Russell Hicks.

School system spokesman Will Kauffman said Thursday counted as a full day of classes. Last Friday was the school system's only cancellation of the year, he said.

Carter said since the roads were clear Thursday morning, administrators decided to go ahead with the opening of school.

"We were looking at the weather reports, we'd been watching reports, we knew there was bad weather coming, but I don't know there was anyone at the time who could pinpoint the time of day," Carter said.

In deciding whether to open school, student safety is the school system's first priority, Carter said.

"We consider our drivers professionals, and they do an excellent job maneuvering in all kinds of conditions, both weather and traffic," Carter said.

Afternoon bus trips home went smoothly, Carter said.

E. Russell Hicks seventh-grader Shane Williams, 12, said he was a little disappointed Thursday morning when he realized school was still on. While other students, including Jackie, said they planned to play outside, Shane said he would probably devote his extra 2 1/2 hours to a book.

'Yeah, I'm disappointed. I was hoping for a day off. It's a great time to catch up on my reading, though" Shane said.

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