Bonner Bridge: How are schools impacted
by the bridge closing?
The good news is that student bus routes were not affected by the Bonner Bridge's closing.  So the day in, day out, of bus travel to and from school was uninterrupted. That's where it stopped being normal.
Housing for displaced employees, travel to athletic events, transporting itinerant staff, making food deliveries, conveying Food for Thought, and providing bus mechanics --- are all issues that have to be faced. 
This situation was unique in that there was relatively no warning given - the bridge was closed in an afternoon. The district was notified, and the teachers involved were able to leave in time to make the bridge before it was closed. They had no forewarning, and weren't prepared. Except for band director Sean McCroskey and music teacher Alana Harper, who had planned student concerts and decided to go down on an early ferry, teachers were given alternative assignments for the remainder of the week.  The following week, they had to take the ferry and stay.
"It's extremely stressful," said Hobbs. "Being away from family and friends, even pets. The uncertainty, having to adjust on a daily basis, takes its toll."
Other staff, (EC, PE, and school psychologist) were rotated. The temporary housing issue was handled by Trip Hobbs, Personnel Director, and Principals Sherry Couch and Beth Rooks.  "We owe a lot to the generosity of local residents," Hobbs noted. 
Hobbs said that it was a team effort to make things work smoothly - between the principals, Transportation Director David Twiddy, and by Facilities Director Jim Winebarger. "Our ultimate goal is to proceed with normal operations as best we can," said Hobbs. 
Athletic schedules were impacted and games were rescheduled for middle of the day on Saturdays. Transporting that many students - basketball teams, cheerleaders, and wrestlers - and making sure they made it home before too late - were all challenges.  
Food deliveries for school cafeterias were adjusted per the vendors, who had to get in line to serve their Hatteras customers and schools. Food for Thought skipped the first week and took two weeks worth of food down the following week. The bus mechanic had a truck parked at the Water Department in Rodanthe. That way, he could simply walk on the ferry to make the connection instead of having to get in line.
Most recently the good news is the bridge is now open. Now, the issues fall back to normal - tide, fog, and wind. Undoubtedly, these and other challenges will persist. With the opening of the bridge, large student groups - like DECA, and the marching band's travel to the Chik-fil-A Bowl will be unencumbered  - fingers crossed.