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Snow Day Delay: How school district makes the call

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 05 2013 11:42:09 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 06 2013 11:15:03 AM CST

District 11 made an unusual call for cold and snowy weather on Thursday. It first called for a two hour delay at 5:30 a.m. Then, school leaders changed their minds to cancel school right before 8 a.m.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

District 11 made an unusual call for cold and snowy weather on Thursday forcing parents to quickly change their plans.

It first called for a two hour delay at 5:30 a.m. Then, school leaders changed their minds to cancel school right before 8 a.m. The last minute decision has parents frustrated.

A snow day called for arts and crafts at the Taraborelli house, but getting to that point wasn't easy.

"Tough. I own a restaurant. So he came to the restaurant with me today,” said parent Rebecca Taraborelli.

Taraborelli learned about the District 11 snow day change too late. She had already left the house to walk her son to school. She and other parents showed up at Buena Vista Elementary School at 10 a.m. for the two hour delay only to find out school had been cancelled.

"We took it as a two hour delay. We planned our day accordingly. Then, just really had to shuffle and make plans when we showed up at school,” said Taraborelli.

At the Rottenborn house, it wasn't an easy morning either.

"It wasn't surprising to me that they waited as long as they did, but I do appreciate some of the districts that called it earlier,” said parent Carrie Rottenborn.  

Many students at Chipeta Elementary walk to school or take the bus. Parents say it was way too cold to risk their safety. So the school district should've cancelled school earlier.

"I knew it was so cold. I didn't think the kids should be out, especially kids on buses. It didn't seem that safe,” said Rottenborn.

So how does District 11 choose a delay or a cancellation? The superintendent explains in a video.

"Discussions occur, the data is examined and a recommendation is made and I make the final decision with our director of transportation,” said District 11 Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Gledich.

Once that decision is made, the director of communications notifies the media and key personnel to get the word out to the public by 5:30 in the morning.

But the final decision on Thursday wasn't made by 5:30. It was changed two and half hours later and that's what is upsetting parents.

"Parents need to know and need to make plans for their kids for the day,” said Rottenborn.

If the district does change its mind, parents want to know as soon as possible.

"They should have either a voicemail or a text or an email notification system,” said Taraborelli.

District 11 recommends you check local radio and TV stations as well as the school district's website to find the latest.

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