Snow days sometimes mean you get get a day off, but sometimes snow days leave you stranded. And that's exactly what happened at Liberty Middle School in West Orange on Thursday.
All it took was a couple of cars to run out of gas, stall or spin out to jam up traffic, preventing school buses from getting to the schools.
When only four of 14 buses showed up to transport more than 300 children, school officials realized students weren't going to be able to get home.
So they packed in the auditorium with games and movies and pulled out mats for students to sleep.
Friday morning, many of those cars remained abandoned on I-280, making it difficult for the plows to even clear the roadway.
"There's a big accident, not to mention about maybe 15 cars stuck up there as well," one commuter said. "That's why we can't get through, and the police can't get through either because you have no idea the abundance of traffic."
Family members say the principal, who had been up since 4:40 a.m. Thursday, did an excellent job communicating with them by tweeting about the situation in the school to keep them updated.
2:30am UPDATE... ❄️ ⛄️ ....some students playing hangman and Pictionary, others watching movie #5, parents still picking up...Main Office game planning (our weekend)...and I checked my steps from yesterday (sounds strange to say that - yesterday!!)....@woschools pic.twitter.com/HZTPyaI9rX— Liberty Middle (@Liberty_WO) November 16, 2018
It took a lot of resources and help from school employees, including the cafeteria staff, to keep the children safe and fed at the school overnight.
A milk delivery truck even dropped off supplies in the early morning hours Friday.
The final three kids went home at 9:30 a.m., meaning staff -- and the principal -- could finally go home themselves for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Snow MVP: Principal Bob Klemt at @Liberty_WO stayed up all night w/his students at school when buses couldn’t reach the school in the snow. As of 9:30am all of his students are home. Principal Klemt is going to sleep after being up since 4:40 Thursday morning! @woschools @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/2PABMwqvMb— Candace McCowan (@CandaceMcCowan7) November 16, 2018