Colorado

Dec 5, 2013 8:38 PM by Maddie Garrett

D-11's Closure Procedure Draws Criticism from Parents, Students

Just about all schools were on a delay or closed Thursday because of the bitter cold. But closure procedures at Colorado Springs District 11 had a lot of parents guessing Thursday morning. D-11 didn't close schools until 8:00am, and for many parents and students, they said that was just too late.

"I checked last night but it said it was on normal schedule, so I dropped them off not thinking school was closed," said D-11 parent, Olivia Montgomery.

Montgomery wasn't the only one who didn't know school was cancelled.

"So the school bus doesn't show up, we were there for like 20 minutes, and my mom gets a notification on her phone saying that there's no school," said D-11 senior Dustin Shayne.

Shayne said he found out school was cancelled at 8:30am when his mom got the message. For him, he said he has mixed feelings on the late notice.

"Darnit I could have gotten four more hours of sleep in, but then at the same time I was sort of like cool, no school today," he said.

News 5 asked District 11 why the announcement came later than usual. D-11 issued a statement, and said one of the reasons it waited was because temperatures didn't rise as quickly as they had hoped. D-11 also pointed out that it had issued a 2-hour delay, which came down at 5:45am. (Read full statement at bottom)

But that didn't help people like Montgomery and Shayne.

"I could have gone to work a lot earlier," said Montgomery.

Shayne said, "It was cold nonetheless, not worth getting up in the morning for."

The complaints don't stop there, parents were expressing their frustrations on News 5's Facebook page. Some of the comments were as follows:

Brittany Dugger: "Its not rocket science! The high was only going to be 8 and it was in the negative this morning. For d11 to think the conditions were going to change it ridiculous!"

Dawn Chadwick: "...There was absolutely NO reason why D-11 shouldn't have made their decision much much sooner. They had all the facts about what the weather would do yesterday..."

DeWayne K Bryant: "The temp didn't rise like they were hoping? REALLY!!!! ...get it together D11."

But not all of the comments were negative, some parents were more understanding and didn't blame the district for the late closure.

Anji Mae: "In these situations make a plan b... I am thankful I didn't drive the 20 mins to only get home and have to go back to the school to pick up my child. Thank you D11."

Laurie Roth: "D11 also had a 2 hour delay first! You have children, you live in Colorado, you need to be prepared. Not the districts fault at all."

Montgomery also said she could see the District's point of view, "It's understandable," she said.

When compared with other schools districts, some cancelled classes as early as 4:00am and announced delays the night before.

District 11 issued it's 2-hour delay at 5:45am, a time when some neighboring school districts had already closed school, including District 8, District 12 and District 49.

District 11 issued it's cancellation at 8:00am. The last public school district to do so. Harrison District 2 was right before, closing schools at 7:30 am.

While Shayne said wishes he would have known sooner, there's one thing that really matters.

"I'm just glad there wasn't school today," he said.

Here is the full statement from District 11:

"During any type of inclement weather situation, D11 personnel work to continuously monitor the the weather to include road conditions, wind chill and snowfall. This morning's decision to call a two hour delay at first was made so that the District could make the most appropriate decision possible for both the safety and well being of students and staff. Colorado weather has a tendency to change quickly, and it makes this decision a tricky one. Temperatures this morning were not rising at the rate anticipated, thus the reason for the initial delay and then closure. D11 relies on many sources which impact the decision that is made. While D11 was not the only district to decide to delay then close, we do understand the frustration it may have caused and we are working to continuously make the process smoother. We appreciate our families who monitor the communications from the District and work with D11 to keep safety a top priority."

 

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