Classrooms are full at Gulfport High School today. After two days of closures, the Gulfport School District opened schools an hour later than usual as a safety precaution. Glen East, the Superintendent of the Gulfport School District, says, "That way all of our buses are out in the daylight. They could see any patches of ice that did still exist." The Gulfport School District decided to reopen schools today after an early morning inspection. East also says, "At 3:30, 4 o’clock, we were out driving the roads. We drove every road with the sole intention that if we found any ice, we would have cancelled school this morning." The Gulfport School District is the only district on the Coast that opened today, and the superintendent says they have seen about 80% attendance. Dr. Oswago Harper, the Principal of 9th grade at Gulfport High School, says, "That's the culture of the Gulfport School District. Our students enjoy being here." Yarelis Alicea Pagan, a freshman at Gulfport High School, says, "It feels good. I’m glad to be back. I don't want to be behind on school."
Though the students are busy at work, they have fond memories of the two icy days off. John Marquez, another freshman, says, "A little fun in the snow. It doesn't come here much." Pagan also says, "I've never seen snow before, so it was really exciting for me." Dr. Harper also says, "The big question is: When will have to make up those days?" The State of Mississippi requires 180 full school days, so every day off has to be made up, but that did not stop students from being a little jealous of other school districts. Marquez also says, "It's kinda’ disappointing being the only school back." Dillon Brown, another freshman at Gulfport High School, says, "I guess it's alright because, you know, they would’ve taken another day off Spring Break." The school district has not officially decided when they will make up the two lost days of school. Other school districts along the Coast plan to reopen Friday. The Gulfport School District will return to its normal hours on Friday morning.