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Parents irritated over school delay, closure debate

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:59:23 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 08:07:26 PM CST

Early morning school delay decision irks many parents. Joe Dominguez reports.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Parents in southern Colorado would have preferred a warning before hearing the alarm Thursday morning.

That's the consensus after a frustrating school day in which at least four school districts initially called for a two-hour delay before ultimately canceling later, before students arrived.

School Districts like 11 (Colorado Springs), 2 (Harrison), 3 (Widefield) and 14 (Manitou Springs) tried to push on with school early this morning.

Their experts determined the roads were drivable, but in the end it was the cold and not the icy roads that was the determining factor in canceling school Thursday across the region.

"Colorado weather has a tendency to change quickly, and it makes this decision a tricky one," read a statement from School District 11, the city's largest school district. "Temperatures this morning were not rising at the rate anticipated, thus the reason for the initial delay and then closure."

District 11 (D-11) also pointed out it was not the only district struggling with the decision.

"We do understand the frustration it may have caused, and we are working to continuously make the process smoother.  We appreciate our families who monitor the communications from the District and work with D-11 to keep safety a top priority."

The D-11 process for determining whether or not to call a snow day can begin the night before. As early as 2 a.m., district leaders are out on the road.

By 5:30 a.m., the superintendent and director of transportation have made a delay/closure decision and the information is being reported.

When parents like Amy Sisson heard her kids' school was going to the be delayed, she was frustrated.

"I was kind of irritated to wake up to find there was school," said Sisson.

Sisson got her kids ready for the school bus and made it outside before she checked one more time to learn that D-2 leaders had cancelled school.

"The kids were disappointed; you know, they could have slept in," said Sisson.

There was also frustration evident on the KRDO Newschannel 13 Facebook page. Several posts asked the district to consider the teachers and staff next time.

"I am sorry that teachers had to leave their nice, warm homes for nothing," posted Julie Williams in a comment announcing the school closure.


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