DENVER (KDVR) — A very spirited conversation is taking place over whether schools should have canceled their classes due to the snow.
Wednesday’s overnight snow brought about a foot of accumulation to much of the Denver metro area. It was Denver’s biggest two-day snowstorm in 5 years.
Some local districts decided to cancel classes altogether, while others only canceled in-person classes and moved learning online.
Families had mixed reactions to the decisions. Some felt canceling classes entirely hurt children who are already behind because of the pandemic.
Kimberly Darnell’s grandchildren attend Douglas County Schools.
“I got angry because I was in education and I am a native of Colorado. And I can’t believe we called a snow day for such a small amount of snow. I think there should have been remote learning. However, I feel schools should have been in session,” Darnell said.
But not everyone agrees.
Some parents say this school year has been rough. They believe having a snow day was needed for safety reasons and a much-needed break.
Susan Hall’s daughter is a seventh grader in the Adams 12 district.
“We have our children sitting in front of a computer screen because of COVID and the pandemic 10 hours a day. I believe that that’s too long. I believe having a snow day to give these children a break is very important,” said Hall.
The Problem Solvers found five school districts that canceled classes altogether. The largest: the Cherry Creek School District. Another in Brighton, the 27J Schools, said it canceled both in-person and online classes since some teachers work from their classroom.
“They are physically getting in their car and driving to a school site because they need a better WiFi connection. They have tools and resources in the classroom that they like to use in their teaching,” said 27J Director of Communications Tracy Rudnick.
The Byers school district also canceled classes. It’s a rural district with all in-person learning. The superintendent, who was helping shovel snow Thursday, said it was just too dangerous.
“It was still snow-packed and icy. I have teachers that come from metro area,” said Byers Superintendent Tom Turrell.
The Douglas County School District also called a snow day. District Spokesperson Paula Hans sent the following statement:
“Douglas County School District covers 850+ square miles and weather conditions vary greatly across our district. Today’s decision to close was made with student and staff safety top of mind. We continually review our procedures related to weather (to include eLearning and remote learning) and update our community when a change is made.”
The Cherry Creek School District did not respond to our request for a statement.