, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 12, 2013

Trudging back to class

Kerble weathers complaints as school resumes

NEWBURYPORT — Despite criticism from some parents, Superintendent Marc Kerble stood confident yesterday in his decision to reopen city schools yesterday, two days after the region was blanketed by 2 feet of snow.

While Amesbury and Triton Regional school districts joined others throughout the region in calling off school yesterday, Newburyport as well Pentucket Regional schools resumed classes.

Despite roads being lined with steep banks of plowed snow and students being challenged by uncleared sections of sidewalks as they walked to school, Kerble called the decision to proceed with classes yesterday the right one.

“We have inclement weather,” he said. “We’ve had worse weather in the past. We have to have school or else we’ll be going into July.”

Following the near-record amount of snow that fell in Newburyport and across the commonwealth Friday and Saturday, Kerble consulted with Mayor Donna Holaday, the city’s director Department of Public Services and the school district’s director of facilities before deciding whether to reopen schools yesterday. Students had already enjoyed a snow day on Friday in advance of the storm’s arrival.

After driving through the city Sunday, Kerble said he felt Newburyport schools were ready to open.

“Student safety is of utmost importance, but I was in the district yesterday afternoon,” Kerble said. “I drove to all the schools and took all the back roads. I looked to see if students could make it to our schools from a certain distance. To me, looking at things yesterday, I was confident that students would be able to ride to school safely.”

Kerble said his office received about a half-dozen calls and an equal number of emails from parents upset with the decision and expressing concern for children having to walk in the street to get around the piles of unplowed snow along their route.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Special Features