By John Shumway


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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two days of subzero temperatures created the worst possible surfaces to catch the morning snow.

No sooner did the fine misting snow hit the ground, it formed a sheen of ice.

“It’s hard for us to get it melted off and get it cleared so it’s safe and passable for everybody,” PennDOT Asst. District 11 Executive Angelo Pampena said.

Pampena says the timing of the snow hitting as rush hour began trapped the trucks in the very traffic they were out to help.

“They have to go around vehicles that are stuck or going slower,” he said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The resulting gridlock Friday morning took out the chance schools had of getting their employees into work on the two-hour delays.

Pamela Capretta is the Chief of Operations for the Pittsburgh Public Schools and says those two hours are critical.

“[Those two hours are critical] for our bus drivers to get to the carrier station and to get their buses. It enables our teachers and principals as well to get to the building,” she said.

But Friday morning, that wasn’t happening and road conditions were getting worse, so the schools canceled classes for the day.

Capretta says Pittsburgh will make a case to the state that the day is already covered in the district’s total curriculum hours. If that fails…

“Typically, we would be adding that on to the end of the school year,” she said.

Seneca Valley classes were canceled Friday as well but the students didn’t lose the day. This was a Flexible Instruction Day, or a FID, where students log onto the SV Portal.

“There awaits their assignments, so school is not disrupted at all,” Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale said.

Seneca Valley used a FID day Thursday and Friday. Seneca Valley is one of only about a dozen districts statewide approved to use the FID program.

“The moment the students log in on the portal, we can see they’re in the portal and that’s how we take attendance. Teachers also log into that portal,” Vitale said.

Students have 10 days to complete the day’s assignments.

Seneca Valley built two snow days into its calendar and can use up to five FID days. So far, it has exhausted the snow days and two of the FID days, and it’s only the first of February.

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