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Indianapolis Public Schools announced this afternoon that schools would be closed again on Thursday for the third consecutive day.

Spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said head custodians, who handle snow removal, did not make enough headway clearing ice and snow to allow safe transport to and from schools. IPS, the state’s largest school district, is calling in all custodians to help on Thursday and expects school to be open Friday.

Bewley said the district has one snow day built into its calendar and would ask the state for a waiver to skip the requirement of making up the other two.

“Nobody anywhere could really go to school,” she said.

If the state does not approve the waiver, the two days would be added to the end of the school year.

In addition to IPS, most of the larger Indianapolis-area school districts announced this afternoon that they would remain closed Thursday.

That includes most of the township districts in Marion County — Lawrence, Washington, Pike, Wayne, Franklin and Decatur as well as Speedway schools. As with IPS, officials in those districts said transportation would be difficult because residential and side streets would not be clear of snow and ice.

Outside Marion County, Avon, Brownsburg, Plainfield and Mt. Vernon schools planned to close on Thursday. Neither Carmel nor Hamilton Southeastern had announced their plans late this afternoon.

Also today, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis announced that it has canceled all morning and afternoon classes on Thursday. Evening classes scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. or later will resume as scheduled. Medical and dental students should follow their schools’ protocols to find out if they should report, according to a notice on the IUPUI website.

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