UPDATE 8 A.M. JAN. 5: NORTH OKANAGAN SCHOOLS SHUT DOWN, VERNON RECREATION PROGRAMS CANCELLED
VERNON - It’s officially a snow day in the North Okanagan.
Despite plans to open schools as usual this morning, School Districts 22 and 83 have announced school is cancelled today, Jan. 5.
“Due to the fact many staff are reporting they are unable to get to work, that many buses are not getting through, and because school parking lots have not yet been cleared, schools will be shut down as of 7:42 a.m.,” district 83 spokesperson Alice Hucul said in a release.
For students already on buses, parents will be contacted and arrangements made. If staff are at work they should stay there until further notice. If staff are not yet at work yet, they are advised to contact school administration.
In School District 22, buses will continue running and students who arrive at school will have supervision.
St. James School is also closed for the day, as is the Vernon Christian School.
There will be no bus transportation to the Vernon Christian School, though there will be staff available at both campuses should students arrive despite the message.
“Calling a snow day on the first day back after vacation is likely a student's greatest New Year dream but administration recognizes this decision can adversely affects family plans. For that we apologize,” spokesperson Corinne Remple says. “Our community's safety, both students and parents, is our greatest concern.”
Post secondary students also get a snow day today. Classes are cancelled at Okanagan College in Vernon and the campus is closed for the day.
The City of Vernon has also sent out a release saying all Greater Vernon Recreation Services programs are cancelled for the day. These include Playschool, Tiny Tots, swimming lessons and fitness classes.
The Vernon Aquatic Centre and Fitness Gym remained open for public use to accommodate people able to travel for most of the day, but recreation services decided to shut them down at 5 p.m. due to worsening weather.
The Halina Seniors Centre and Centennial Outdoor Rink are closed, but the Priest Valley, Civic and Kal Tire Place arenas will be open Monday evening.
Because the weather is unpredictable, participants registered in classes are asked to call Recreation Services (250-545-6035) or check the website after 7 a.m. on Tuesday to check the status of facilities and programs.
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—This story was edited at 8 a.m. Jan. 5 to include an update from the school districts saying school is cancelled, again at 11:23 a.m. to say Greater Vernon Recreation Services programs have been cancelled, and again at 4:21 p.m. to update the status of Recreation Services facilities and programs.