Photo/Creative Commons by Visit Lakeland

For the second day in a row, the Sitka School District is closing for a snow day, Friday (1/10/20). Superintendent Mary Wegner said even though she was eager to open the classrooms after an extended winter break, road conditions were still too poor to be safe for students. 

“We’ve had so much snow that we just haven’t been able to, as a community, keep our sidewalks cleared,” she said. “The snow is just piled so high in these berms. There’s just not safe places for students to stand and wait for the buses. It’s just not there yet.”

Wegner said the district ran some bus routes Thursday afternoon (1-9-20) to see if conditions were improving, but determined that it still wasn’t safe.

So it’s another day off for Sitka students- but Wegner is asking that students travel and play safely on their day off- and avoid the massive snow berms that have accumulated street-side.  

“Because they’re so big and we’re not used to that, students may think it’s a great day to play in the snow berms. But the heavy equipment operators cannot see when students are in or around or have built a snow cave inside of a snow berm,” she said. “So we’re really trying to get the word out to families to make sure that students are not playing in or around those berms. And that would be so tragic if an equipment operator couldn’t see something. They’re just not playtime.”  

Friday is still a workday for district staff, though Wegner says some may work from home if conditions aren’t safe for them to travel.

And it’s not a freebie for students- the last day of school now will be moved from Thursday, May 21 to Friday, May 22 to make up for the missed day of classes. 

A winter storm warning is in effect from 6 pm Thursday to 3 pm Friday, for Baranof Island. Some areas will see 5-10 inches of snow accumulation, but according to the National Weather Service, most of the snow is expected south of Sitka, with minor accumulation in town.