DENVER — Despite a weekend snowstorm left icy and snowy conditions on the roads and temperatures in the single digits, three large school districts — Denver Public Schools, Jefferson County Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools — stayed on regular schedule Monday — much to the dismay of parents.
On Sunday night, the Douglas County School District announced it would have a 90-minute delay. Aurora Public Schools announced a one-hour delay early Monday morning.
But Denver Public Schools remained on regular schedule despite saying buses would be delayed, which they were by up to 90 minutes for some schools.
DPS issued a statement to us, “The decision to keep schools open or to close them during winter weather is made with one overriding factor in mind: the well-being of our students and their families. Schools are not only vital places of learning for students, but they also provide nutrition, health care, counseling and essential support services. Whenever possible, Denver Public Schools (DPS) strives to keep schools open.
And with the State Legislature shutting down for the day because of the wintry weather but DPS staying open, parents weren’t pleased.
“If the House and Senate are closed tomorrow here in Denver, due to weather and unsafe roads, WHY would you put kids out on the road in the same weather. Cancell now and let CDOT clear the roads,” Sherri Reiss wrote on Facebook.
“My son’s bus better be on time if school is still open! The least you guys could have done was having school be delayed 90 min!” Juanita Cavanaugh wrote.
“This is totally ridiculous. Even douglas county is delayed. Just because buses are going to get there but expect delays…. does not mean that parents and students who dont use the school bus will be able to het there safely. Its not just about buses!” Emily Strunk wrote.
Jefferson County Public Schools posted on its Facebook page that schools would operate under a normal schedule. Parents and students took to the comments section and voiced their displeasure.
“My kids won’t be there. Roads are terrible and it’s still snowing,” Jacquie Arnold wrote.
“Mine won’t be ether and I work there. This is just stupid,” Kathrine Hartshorn wrote.
“This is sad. Thank you Jeffco for tossing my safety aside for one school day,” Michelle John wrote.
“I’m glad you care more about paychecks than safety how many of your kids are going to school? Do you even consider what we say?” Rachael Evans wrote.
“Safety for everyone should be priority. Let’s have schools open, late buses, half students absents because the weather, kids waiting for buses with these freezing temperatures, indoor recess, teachers rushing to get to school on time dealing with the icy roads, etc. It all sounds like a brilliant idea,” Monica Hurtado wrote.
“As A high school student speaking, we should think of the safety of us teens who are not advanced at driving yet. So who’s with me!???!!!” Dante DeCarlo wrote.
Here is a statement from Jefferson County Schools. “Our students’ and staffs’ safety and security is always our primary concern. In inclement weather our transportation department takes additional steps to ensure safe and efficient access to our school sites, depending on the specifics of the weather conditions. We also respect our parents’ decisions to keep their children home should they choose to do so. ”
A message from Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Harry Bull was posted on the district’s Facebook page for why there was no delay.
Parents weren’t too pleased with the decision.
“Very irresponsible to make this announcement AFTER our young drivers have left for school! I thought you were supposed to keep our children safe, and it is not safe out there today!!! Once again, you show that your “business” is the bottom line CCSD!!” Cindy Olson Anton wrote.
“You’re in the “business of holding school”. But what about the responsibility of keeping your teachers, staff & bus drivers & children SAFE?!” Jennifer Jenco Belo wrote.
“CCSD hasn’t had a snow day in 2 years and getting a foot of snow and freezing temps is worth employees, parents and students risking their safety??! A delayed start would have been somewhat beneficial, all other school districts around the area where given that. Very disappointed in today’s decision!” Stacey Reher Mitchell wrote.