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Decision for city schools to stay open prompts calls from irate parents

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

(WKTV) - Several local school districts cancelled classes Wednesday, but a few didn't - Rome and Utica City Schools.

The decision to stay open was one that prompted 40 calls from concerned and sometimes irate parents before Utica Superintendent Jim Willis even walked in the door this morning. Utica has 2,400 "walkers"--students who walk to school. Superintendent Willis says they are always a concern in the middle of the night when closing discussions begin.

"In fact I was up at 3 a.m. checking the snow as it was falling and that type of thing because we do have the weather report weather report calling for the accumulation of snow between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. tonight," said Willis.

Some Utica parents took things into their own hands Wednesday; the district's usual number of around 500 absences nearly tripled to 1,458 on Wednesday.

Both Utica and the Whitesboro districts have used 2 snow days. Most local districts have 4-5 to use per school year.

Some Herkimer County districts - including Mohawk Central - have used all their snow days and have had to take two from mid-winter recess in February.

As a result, Mohawk Central School District will have school Tuesday, February 17 and Wednesday, February 18.

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