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CMSD and Akron schools plan to open Thursday after two snow days

A custodian outside of Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School clears the snow off a walkway. [Jenny Hamel / Ideastream Public Media]
A man uses a snow blower to clear snow off a Cleveland public school sidewalk

Akron Public Schools and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District both expect to reopen for in-person classes Thursday.

Children in both districts were told to remain home Tuesday and Wednesday, after a storm dropped between 15 to 20 inches of snow across Northeast Ohio Monday. The districts pointed to impassable, snow-covered sidewalks throughout both cities that created unsafe conditions for students to walk to school.

“The District closed a second day as the city completes clearing snow from one of the most significant snow accumulations in several years,” CMSD said in a written statement to Ideastream Public Media. “We anticipate reopening tomorrow. We ask that residents and businesses help keep students safe by clearing snow from their sidewalks.” 

People in most cities tend to not shovel their sidewalks, Akron schools spokesman Mark Williamson said Wednesday, especially when there is more than a foot of snow.

“So children who walk to school will find themselves trying to walk on the street. And that's what we just don't want. We just don't want that. That’s the reason we didn't have school today,” he said.

Akron's custodial staff were able to clear snow off campus sidewalks Wednesday, Williamson said. He also made a plea to the public.

“We want people to get out and try to get their blocks cleaned or at least make them passable for children to get through, so kids don't walk on the street. But, we know that kids probably will have to in some places, and we just want motorists to be very careful,” he said.

Another factor in keeping schools closed, Williamson said, was the snow making it unsafe and difficult for school buses to travel.