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School, in-person and virtual, nixed for week in Mecklenburg / February 17, 2021
Mecklenburg County Public Schools cancelled both virtual and in-person classes through Friday.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Nichols made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

At that time, one county school had no power and nearly 1,900 homes around Mecklenburg were similarly without electricity, making it impossible for those students to attend school even virtually. Nichols said he did not expect to have power restored to the school building until the weekend, at the earliest.

In his announcement, posted on social media and on the school division webpage, Nichols wrote, “This week has not turned out the way that we expected at all. We were looking for students to return to face-to-face instruction at all levels. Instead, we have had to close schools due to a very significant ice storm that shut down the power in school buildings and student’s homes and made many of our roads dangerous with downed trees and power poles. Thank the Lord for wonderful power crews from Dominion and Mecklenburg Electric that have worked tirelessly to get power restored.”

The decision to keep schools shuttered for the remainder of the week was due to the potential for a second storm to hit the area as early as Wednesday night. The National Weather Service in Wakefield issued a hazardous weather warning for Mecklenburg, Brunswick and counties east and north that called for “the potential for a wintry mix of precipitation late Wednesday night through Thursday morning.”

Forecasters were expecting a slight chance of snow before 1 a.m., Wednesday, then snow and sleet between 1 and 3 a.m., followed by bouts of freezing rain and sleet for the remainder of the day into Thursday night. While the weather forecasts did not indicate there would be any accumulation of snow, temperatures were expected to hover in the low to mid 30s over the two-day period, making road travel hazardous.

Nichols concluded that the safest course of action would be to close Mecklenburg County Public Schools for both virtual and face-to-face classroom instruction throughout the remainder of the week.

Classes are expected to resume on Monday, with the schedule for those returning to face-to-face instruction set up as it would have been on Feb. 15. Elementary students will return to their weekly schedules Monday through Thursday. Middle and high school students will return to school on the A week schedule.

Nichols advised any parents with questions to contact the principal’s office at your child’s school for more information.

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