A number of local school districts closed Wednesday, after hectic rides home Tuesday.
Hamilton County schools began dismissing at 10:30 Tuesday morning, but because of the traffic chaos, the last student didn't make it home until almost 9 hours later.
Hamilton County's school buses sat quietly at the bus barns Wednesday, but not 5-year-old Jaliyah. She was happy to be home from school. It was her snow day and what better day to play at home with her family.
"I really didn't think it would stick, but it's a big surprise for it to stick," says parent Jalessa Cannon.
And Hamilton County schools, like other school districts, were surprised too.
Superintendent Rick Smith says the National Weather Service out of Morristown usually will notify the school system 2 -3 days before possible inclement weather.
"We didn't get that. We didn't get any communication from National Weather Service at all until 9:05 yesterday [Tuesday]," says Superintendent Rick Smith.
About an hour later, he says he notified principals and sent out automated messages to parents about their decision to dismiss early.
Tuesday, we were there as several schools, like Tyner High School let out at 11am. The Superintendent says the last student in the county left school around 7:30 Tuesday night.
"If we can, we want to cancel school before we even have children go to school," says Superintendent Rick Smith.
So from Smith's point of view, the timing of this snow fall could not have been worse -- 43,000 students plus faculty and staff were already at school when the travel problems started.
We saw the results everywhere, including a bus that was stalled on West Side Drive near Kings Lodge.
"We had drivers who couldn't get to the buses because of the traffic. There was so much going on on the highways," says Superintendent Rick Smith.
The district is evaluating its plans for delaying or cancelling school in inclement weather.
"If something like this evolves again, where we think this is going to happen during the school day, and it doesn't happen at night, we may do something very different," says Superintendent Rick Smith.
But, for 5-year-old Jaliyah, anyway she can get a snow day is just fine with her.
There were seven Hamilton County school bus accidents, but no students were hurt.
No students were forced to stay overnight at school the way they were in other southern cities. So, if decision making is improved after all this, it's cheap lesson learned.
By Jerry Askin