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School district makes quick call as snow falls

Roads in many Port Orchard neighborhoods might have been clear Wednesday morning, but the decision to close South Kitsap schools came much earlier than that.

Snow began falling throughout Kitsap County on Tuesday night and South Kitsap School District superintendent Dave LaRose said his work began around 3 a.m. It involved collaborating with local superintendents — Bremerton, Central Kitsap, North Mason and Peninsula all closed Wednesday as well — in addition to coordinating with a road crew in SKSD that gives an assessment of conditions in the area. In addition, LaRose also spoke with a meteorologist at Weathernet, who predicted freezing rain between 9:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday.

LaRose said those factors combined with power outages at five SKSD schools — Burley Glenwood, Cedar Heights, Mullenix Ridge, Olalla, Sidney Glen — led to the decision to close. Assistant superintendent for business and support Terri Patton said all five regained power later in the morning.

“That’s always scary because you don’t know if you can get the heat up,” she said.

Patton said it was the second time school was canceled because of snow in 2010-11. She said both days will be made up at the end of the school year, which now will conclude June 21 if there are not more cancellations.

Extracurricular activities are canceled throughout the district when school closes. The Rachel’s Challenge, a program that was developed by the family of Rachel Scott, who was a victim of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 in Colorado, has rescheduled its assemblies at Cedar Heights Junior High at 9:05 a.m. for seventh- and eight-grade students and 11:05 a.m. for freshmen today.

South Kitsap High School’s boys and girls basketball games also will be rescheduled. Athletic director Ed Santos had not finalized details Wednesday afternoon, but he said both games against Gig Harbor likely would be played Monday night.

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