FHSD Decides Not to Close Schools Despite the Weather

By Aurora Blanchard

Students who just arrived at school still walk through the halls, even after the 7:20 bell rang. (photo by cameron mccarty)
Students who arrived to school at 7:40 a.m. still walk through the halls, even after the 7:20 bell rang. (photo by cameron mccarty)

This morning, FHSD Superintendent Pam Sloan didn’t cancel school for the District. Some were surprised by this decision, because the sections of major school roads such as Muegge and Hackmann were not plowed. Other roads were blocked off due to accidents.

According to Sloan, school was not cancelled because at the time the decision was being made, the road conditions were not bad enough to call off school. It was “a dicey decision,” though, in her words.

A KSDK weather forecast posted at 4 a.m. led some to believe that the snow would not lead to dangerous road conditions.

“We start monitoring road conditions around 4 a.m.,” Sloan said. “We like to finalize the decision by 5 a.m. We saw that there’d be about one inch of snow and that some of the roads had been pre-treated.”

Any parents who do not wish for their children to attend school due to the weather can allow their children to stay home, according to Sloan. As of 10 a.m., Sloan reports that students in the District will not be let out of school early today.

As of 7 a.m., there was about an inch of snow on the ground. This slowed down the morning commute for students and teachers. Some described walking through school at 7:20 a.m. after the bell rang as a “ghost town,” because many had not yet arrived.

“She really should have called it,” Speech, Debate, and English teacher Theresa Maher said. “It was really bad today.”

According to Marlene Wilcoxen, who works in the attendance office,  a majority of the students arrived to school on time, but there were still students arriving at 10:15 a.m due to accidents on the roads. First hour was affected the most by the lack of attendance, because the biggest influx of tardy students arrived between 7:25 a.m. and 7:55 a.m. The attendance office has received about 200 phone calls from parents about their students being late or sick today.

One student who was late, junior Derrick Leon, drove himself to school this morning. He left his house in the Millwood subdivision at 7 a.m., as he usually would, but didn’t arrive until 7:25 a.m. There was what he described as a long line of cars in front of him in the subdivision and in the turn into the school parking lot.

Until Maher arrived, substitute teacher Terri Grosvenor had to cover Maher’s first hour Speech class. She planned to sub for Physical Science teacher James Appleton but was asked to sub for Maher first hour when she arrived to school since Appleton has a plan period first hour. According to Grosvenor, school should have been cancelled.

“There’s a lot of accidents,” Grosvenor said. “Half the class isn’t here. I don’t have any sub plans. Coming in, it was dangerous. I was sliding all over the place and I don’t think it’s supposed to stop soon.”