DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Students and staff in the Douglas County School District still had business as usual on Wednesday, despite schools down south closing for snow.

“I just assumed during the night we would wake up and there would be no school,” said Marie Brown, a mother of three students in the district.

The school district posted on Facebook Wednesday morning that there was no delay, and school would be going on as normal. That post got hundreds of comments from parents, teachers and others. Many people on the post said the district made a bad call in keeping schools open.

“I personally wasn’t worried. We live really close to our elementary school,” said Morgan O’Hara, another mother of three students in the Douglas County district.

O’Hara and Brown agreed the biggest concerns were teachers having to commute and teenage drivers making it to school safely.

“Not every teacher lives right in the neighborhood,” O’Hara said.

Superintendent addresses snow day decision

Both mothers said they weren’t mad and understood it was a tough decision from the district leaders. Brown said she made the decision to keep her kids home Wednesday.

“I’m not mad one way or another. I just think today was a no-brainer, an easy decision,” Brown said. “We had a great day here. We made cookies and enjoyed our day.”

Superintendent Erin Kane sent out this message to the community:

“I hope you are all safe and warm. As you can imagine, we have received feedback on today’s weather decision. School districts across the Denver/Metro area remained open, while most school districts in Colorado Springs shut down, and we found ourselves in this weird place in the middle with the forecast varying widely across our district.

“Weather calls are always difficult, with many factors to balance. We have families who struggle with child care and do not get paid if they do not go to work. We have teenage drivers, parents driving kids across the district to the school of their choice, children at bus stops, staff members trying to get to work from across the metro area, and the limited use of snow days due to instructional hour requirements (so that we don’t have to extend our school year). We also continue to have challenges with labor shortages and competitive pay – causing bus route cancellations and a shortage of staff to clear snow and prepare for the day.

“Calling snow days can be a huge challenge (definitely not my favorite part of the job!), and we are not always going to get it right. It is always my goal to err on the side of safety. Now, I am not saying that we will be calling a snow day whenever it snows (we do live in Colorado, after all). We have already called delays and closures this school year and we have yet to enter our historically snowiest month of the year in Colorado.

“Predicting the weather is no easy task. However, please know that we are listening to your feedback, taking it very seriously, and making appropriate adjustments to our snow team processes. We will strive to make the best call we can, with all factors considered, while erring on the side of the safety of our staff, students, and families.”

Erin Kane, Douglas County School District superintendent