Fewer than half of NYC school kids make it to class
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The biggest snowfall of the season so far brought up to ten and a half inches of the white stuff to Brooklyn, forcing the shuttering of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton and the closure of some private schools.
Because of the bitter cold, kids in Brooklyn Heights frolicked only briefly in Cadman Plaza Park and kept their sledding sessions short in Hillside Dog Park, which doubles as a sledding hill in the winter.
On Wednesday, New York City public schools, including afterschool programs, were in full swing. But less than half of the city's 1.1 million school kids made it in to class, said Department of Education spokesperson Marge Feinberg.
"Today's attendance rate was 47.1 percent. The last time the school system experienced a low turnout was on Jan. 12, 2011 after a similar snowstorm," when the attendance rate was 49.1 percent, Feinberg told the Brooklyn Eagle. "On an average day the attendance rate is roughly 90 percent."
After residents of the Upper East Side groused about slow snow removal on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio headed to the area himself to investigate – and found that more could have been done.
“I have instructed the Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation to double-down on cleanup efforts on the Upper East Side, and as a result, 30 vehicles and nearly 40 sanitation workers have been deployed to the area to finish the cleanup. Our crews will remain on the streets around the clock until the roadways are clear in every neighborhood, in every borough, across New York City.”
While snow removal continues across New York City, the Nation Weather Service warns that bitter cold will remain through Saturday.
Property owners are required to clear a path for pedestrians and remove snow from sidewalks next to bus stops and hydrants – or face a fine. The city is making it easier for offenders to be reported: NYC’s Office of Emergency Management says that residents can report snowy or icy sidewalks by calling 3-1-1 or by texting 311-692.
While thousands of flights were delayed into and out of the metropolitan region on Tuesday, by Wednesday afternoon delays were running 15 minutes or less, according to the FAA.
NYC has suspended alternate side parking on Thursday for snow removal. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.