WEATHER ALERT: Winter Weather Advisory in place for foothills through noon for blowing snow. (Watch Forecast)

School Officials On Why They Decide To Close

DENVER (CBS4) – Some students will have a second straight day off from school on Wednesday because of the wintry weather. Some school districts already announced they will be closed because it’s just too cold to risk having the students outside.

Some of the major districts include Adams County districts 12, 14 and 50; Aurora Public Schools; Boulder Valley School District; Cherry Creek; Douglas County; Englewood; Jefferson County; and Weld County districts RE-1, RE-3J and RE-8.

Denver Public Schools says it will be open but respects parents’ judgment if they want their children to stay home.

The driveway at Molholm Elementary was plowed out on Tuesday and the roads weren’t that bad. The big problem is what school administrators call the dangerous cold.

Many students treated Tuesday like an extra day of vacation — a time for a little fun.

“I was very happy, it’s nice to have a day off,” a student enjoying the day at the Ruby Hill Railyard said.

Normally they’d be lining up for rides or walking to class, but school was canceled throughout the metro area because conditions were just too dangerous, according to David Suppes, the chief of operations for Denver Public Schools.

“Frostbite can occur in a very short period of time, sometimes in less than 10 minutes,” Suppes said.

Another consideration is getting the diesel-powered school buses to run in the extreme cold. But many school districts use block heaters and special fuel additives to keep the bus engines from freezing, according to Tustin Amole, spokeswoman for Cherry Creek Schools.

“It works very well overall,” Amole said. “We had a few dead batteries overnight but we fixed those.”

Even if the school buses are running, icy roads could put them behind schedule. That means students already waiting outside could be at greater risk of frostbite.

But sub-zero temperatures were the last thing on the mind of one mother.

“Oh Lord, no school, kids will be stuck at home driving the parents crazy, but thank God for Ruby Hill, you know,” parent Sheri Pitones said.

It begs a simple question. If they can play in the extreme cold, why can’t they come to school in it?

“I think those decisions are made by parents,” Suppes said. “It’s certainly not something the we would recommend … when we have charge over our students we’re going to take the safety precautions we think are most appropriate.”

  • Dm

    Denver Public Schools should have followed other districts and closed as well. Their web site warns of frostbite but are willing to put students at risk. Parents who choose to keep their children at home should be allowed to have their absences excused. It is obvious they are not “For children first”.

    • crazybout24

      Shame on DPS for putting the bottom line before the children and staff. 1 more day of “safety first” would not have killed them. Shame on you Tom Boasberg!

  • eron reed

    crazy! kiddos are going to be kept home by parents, as they should, and as a result only some of the population is forced to come out…DPS does not make sense. Call both days or none.

  • ID

    Dm, Your statement about DPS not being “For Children first” is ridiculous. You may not agree with DPS in keeping schools open, but to make a blanket statement about DPS not caring about children is really going overboard. It never fails that when these weather-related decisions are made, to remain open or to close, someone is going to be unhappy. I taught in several other states where school closings were more common than here (not teaching here.), so I’ve heard it all. This issue has nothing to do with the quality of education DPS students receive. As stated, you are welcome to keep your children home. Since the offer was made, I’m sure the district will make allowances for being absent.

    • Dm

      My comment was not to the quality of education that DPS provides, but the lack of judgment for the students safety. DPS provides students with an excellent education. Yes parents are welcome to keep their children home and I hope they do. The question is: DPS has 10 built in snow days in their calendar so why put students at risk. Many students are required to walk anywhere from 3 to 9 blocks to take the bus and have to stand and wait for it to arrive. Again I ask is that good judgment?

  • Paul

    DPS has made an awful decision. They are treating teachers like baby sitters. Parents can drop off their kids for what amounts to free baby sitting, because all absences will be excused and everything thought will need to be re-taught.

  • Shaking my head

    I am truly disappointed with this decision. DPS has shown a lack of good judgment for whatever reason that led the powers that be to make this decision. The truth is, they may be trying to look noble with the whole “School Must Go On” approach, but in reality how much teaching will REALLY be going on? Very little! There will be few kids there, and more substitues. Here’s some math for you few kids+substitutes=Movie Day! That’s a waste of time. I’m digusted that there are those out there that would prefer to have students on bus stops or walking to school in below zero temperatures just to go to school and hang out… It’s just silly. With 10 snow days available, and only using one this school year…what’s one more!

  • Donny

    When did Coloradoans get so faint hearted about the weather? C’mon people this is the Rockies, it gets cold here! We are the skiing capital of the world!! I remember putting on extra clothing and even several pair of socks on my hands because we couldn’t afford gloves. If your aren’t willing to deal with a little cold weather then you shouldn’t be living in Colorado….bottom line!

  • Aus tin Botwin

    OMG, do you see whats happening in Syria? In spite of a brutal government crackdown, the manifestations continue

blog comments powered by Disqus
News Updates & Notifications

Listen Live

AM/FM Stations

Featured Shows & Multimedia