Icy, snow-covered sidewalks and unplowed side streets in some neighborhoods made the trek to school difficult for some students yesterday, a handful of district teachers said.
Attendance figures weren't available and other teachers reported no apparent difference on the first day back to school after a storm dumped nearly two feet of snow on the city over the weekend and closed city schools on Monday.
Crews with the Streets Department have "treated" 2,460 miles, or 96 percent, of the city's roadways, with a goal of making them all "passable," the Mayor's Office said.
Smaller residential streets, the 115 remaining miles, will be worked on throughout the day today, the office said.
But roads around some neighborhood schools yesterday looked as if they had just been snowed on the day before, teachers said.
Claire Landau, a teacher at McDaniel Elementary, at 22nd and Moore streets, in South Philadelphia, said that the snowy conditions around her school had a definite impact on attendance yesterday.
"There [were] a lot of students absent [yesterday] and many students were late," she wrote via e-mail. "Everyone I have spoken to is missing anywhere from six to 14 kids in their class" in a class size between 26 to 30 students.
On the flip side, most of the students in Jennifer Park's class at Bartram High School, in Southwest Philadelphia, were present, the math teacher said, adding that high-school students may have an easier time getting around than younger students.
Only two students were absent in all of Crystal Gary-Nelson's English and social-studies classes yesterday, said the teacher at Harding Middle School, on 6th Street near Duncannon Avenue, in Olney.
She noted that the coats, gloves and scarves given to students by school counselors there on Friday helped prepare them for this week.
District officials said that yesterday's attendance numbers would not be available until today.
Earlier this week, Mayor Nutter asked residents to do their part in helping clean up.
The Mayor's Office blamed some uncleared streets on improperly parked cars, which blocked some streets, and urged residents to be patient, noting that clearing small streets requires special equipment that takes much longer to clear a block than does a standard plow.
The city has begun ticketing homeowners and businesses who have yet to clear a 30-inch path in the sidewalk in front of their properties. Residents can be fined up to $300 for shoveling snow into the street or otherwise illegally dumping snow.