November 27, 2014


Nearly 2,000 Elyria students absent on Wednesday

ELYRIA – Elyria school district officials said roughly 29 percent of students across the district were absent Wednesday.

The speculation is that many parents decided to keep their school children home following two days of sub-zero temperatures and wicked wind chills.

Although temperatures hovered around 10 degrees with an even lower wind chill factor in the morning and several other districts in the county closed, classes resumed for Elyria students with teachers there to teach the students who did show up.

“When school is in session, instruction goes on regardless of how many students are in attendance,” said district spokeswoman Amy Higgins. “There is less than one week left in the second quarter grading period, and it is an important time for students to strengthen their grades or work with teachers to make improvements.”

All absences and weather-related tardies were excused for the day. Students will be allowed to make up missed work.

Elyria was not the only district to stay open. Avon, Avon Lake and Amherst schools all held classes in addition to Cleveland Schools in Cuyahoga County. Higgins said weather forecasts played a big part in the district’s decision. The most severe weather was set to move out by 9 a.m. and temperatures risen to the low 20s by afternoon.

“It was important for schools to be open for students who were able to attend,” Higgins said. “We certainly understand when a parent has a weather related or other concern that creates a hardship for getting their child to school and we respect their judgment in keeping them home.”

Nikki McDaniel, spokeswoman for First Student Transportation, which handles the busing needs in the district, said there were no issues starting the buses. All 52 buses started up and were available for the district’s 40 routes.

“We anticipated this and came in early to start the buses in addition to having drivers and mechanics start the buses every day this week,” she said.

While the district absentee rate was 29 percent overall, some schools saw higher percentages of absences.

At Franklin Elementary, 190 students were absent, about 46 percent of the school’s 412 students. At Oakwood Elementary, 135 students, or 39 percent, were absent.

In all 1,953 students were absent.

Higgins said on a typical day, elementary schools average 10 to 30 absences, the middle schools average 20 to 30 absences, and the high school averages about 150 absent students. The district has about 6,000 students.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Michael

    to think most of these kids have their parent sit at the end of the driveway in an idling car waiting for the bus anyhow… their “exposure” to the outside is limited to walking on the bus, then from the bus to the school. These temperatures occur in many northern states (to include Alaska); the kids just need to dress for it. And the parents need to be responsible and make sure they did.

    • oldruss

      I don’t know what the Elyria City Schools busing policy is, but in some districts, school transportation is only available if the student lives more than two (2) miles from his or her school. In an urban school district like Elyria, that would mean a large number of students are expected to either walk to school or get private transportation from a parent or another adult. In weather conditions such as we were experiencing on Wednesday, especially Wednesday morning, walking to school for a mile or a mile and a half, for example, could prove to be dangerous for school age students, even for those at the high school.

      • Classof007

        The elementary and middle schools are bused; however, high schoolers are not. The only children bused are the JVS kids that leave from EHS and any special needs children. Perhaps administrators should keep that in mind when determining if the schools will be open or not.

        • Tommy Peel

          I know of several elementary students who have to walk. They don’t ride the bus.

    • Tommy Peel

      Most of these kids don’t ride the bus. That’s why it was up to the parents to not send their kids to school. Most kids walk to school. The windchill yesterday morning was -10. The district said that they respect the parents decision when to keep their kids at home. the district also,said all weather related absences were excused.

  • It has to stop

    As I have grown older and have children, I don’t want to see them go through the same hardships I had to go through as a child. I remember walking to school 3 miles up hill both ways in snow chest level deep with real time temps -30 degrees and wind chills -67. Not to mention doing it during the warm weather days when it was 120 degrees with lightning and sometimes tornadoes.

    • ZX3

      …and we did it barefoot!

      • It has to stop

        Left that out. Thank you.