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Pittsburgh Public Schools and a few others didn’t close Wednesday. Here’s why. | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Pittsburgh Public Schools and a few others didn’t close Wednesday. Here’s why.

Tom Davidson
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Roberto Clemente Bridge is seen from the North Shore on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The snow-covered statue of Mister Rogers is seen on the North Shore on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Fort Pitt Bridge is seen on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
People make their way around Downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

Woodland Hills Superintendent James P. Harris hears complaints about every weather-related decision he makes in the district.

That made Wednesday a tough morning for Harris, who had until about 5:30 a.m. to make the call whether to cancel school, delay it or operate classes on the normal schedule as a storm moved in during the morning commute that dumped as much as an inch per hour.

He kept school open, no delays. Woodland Hills was one of very few schools in Western Pennsylvania that didn’t close or delay classes Wednesday because of the weather.

“Today is one of those days,” Harris said, noting the angry comments he had already received.

The storm’s heaviest snowfall started toward the end of the morning bus runs. Because of that, Harris made the decision he did.

“Every situation is a little bit different,” Harris said.

He hears complaints whether he decides to cancel classes or keep the schools open, Harris said. The decision needs to be made by 5:30 a.m.

“It’s always 50-50,” Harris said.

A car slid into the back of a school bus at Penn Center and Lower Rodi roads in Wilkins Township, Harris said. Six Woodland Hills students were on the bus at the time of the minor crash. None were injured, Harris said.

There were a few expletive-laden tweets decrying the district’s decision.

Harris said he also hears complaints from students upset that their extracurricular activities are affected when school is canceled.

“That’s who I get most of the calls from,” Harris said.

Woodland Hills was one of at least three districts in the region to remain open. Pittsburgh Public Schools stayed open. Wilkinsburg had a two-hour delay.

Pittsburgh Public Schools didn’t delay or cancel classes because buses had already started routes before the snow started, according to a statement from the district. It canceled its activities at The Gifted Center and other midday activities in the district.

Both Pittsburgh Public Schools and Woodland Hills also offered an excused absence to students who were late or unable to make it to classes.

Wilkinsburg School District officials didn’t respond to requests to explain its decision Wednesday.

Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak contributed to this report.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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