Tupelo schools will be open Friday…and why the district made a late decision Thursday morning

Tupelo Superintendent Randy Shaver said Thursday night that the district’s schools will be open on Friday.

Shaver said that the streets, parking lots and bus routes are in good condition and he couldn’t justify closing school.

Because it is a city school district, there are fewer bridges, low-lying places or overpasses where ice would accumulate, Shaver said. Historically, the district’s biggest trouble spot is the big curve near the high school on Cliff Gookin Boulevard, and Shaver said that it was clear of ice Thursday night.

Shaver also explained why the district made a late decision to close school Thursday morning.

Around 6:15 on Thursday morning, parents and teachers in the Tupelo Public School District received a call from the district’s automated phone system telling them that a decision would be made at 8:30. At 8:30, school was canceled.

The reason for the delay was the timing of the snow and ice, which mostly fell between 7 and 9 Thursday morning, or the time when many students are traveling to school.

Shaver and three other district employees checked the city roads between 3 and 5:30 in the morning and determined that they were passable. But the weather service said that it would start snowing around 7, so they decided to wait to see how severe the snow was. When the snow began falling heavily, the decision was made to cancel school for the day.

The TPSD will make up Thursday’s snow day on April 5, the Monday after Easter.

Shaver also said that because of the extreme cold, bus drivers will make an extra effort to pick children up as close to their doors as possible.

Meanwhile, 25 Northeast Mississippi school districts have already announced they will be closed on Friday, including Lee County Schools. Lee County Superintendent Mike Scott said Thursday that there were patches of ice on roads in the county.

Below is a list of Friday’s school closings and openings as of 7:30 p.m. Keep checking NEMS360.com for more updates.

School closures

Alcorn County
Benton County
Calhoun County
Chickasaw County
Holly Springs
Itawamba County
Lafayette County
Lee County
Marshall County
Monroe County
North Tippah
New Albany
Pontotoc City
Pontotoc County
Prentiss County
South Tippah
Tishomingo County
Union County
• Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, Itawamba Community College, Northeast Community College and Blue Mountain College.

Schools open
• Oktibbeha County, Starkville and Tupelo schools
• Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Rust College, Mississippi University for Women and East Mississippi Community College.

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