Many school districts across Southern Colorado closed Monday for a snow day. Now, parents are wondering what schools will decide to do as the next storm approaches.
On days like Monday snow means no school for many students in Southern Colorado, but parents often don't find out until just hours before their kids are due in the classroom. School district officials say snow days can add up and extend the school year-- so they often wait because they want to get it right.
"We're always having to balance how do we make sure that our kids stay safe and we call a snow day or delay appropriately, so as to not make them have to go to school after Memorial Day," said Academy District 20 Spokesperson Allison Cortez
In Pueblo, District 60 officials were tracking Monday morning's storm and say the potential for changing conditions can often delay their decision to cancel school.
"The conditions here in Pueblo in the city can be different than they are in the county and so we do take that into consideration, but we also understand the critical nature of needing to inform our families as early as possible," said District 60 Spokesman Dalton Sprouse.
Kent Tompkins says his wife was on a D-60 school bus with students on their way to school when the school district decided to call for a snow day. He's concerned that the call was made so late.
"There are bus drivers, there are bus monitors, which is what my wife is, as well as maybe even some students who were picked up before they canceled and those students and those bus personnel were put at risk. I was put at risk taking her. Had it been a timely decision that could've been avoided," said Tompkins, a Pueblo resident.
School district officials acknowledged the late decision.
"We know that today's call was made fairly late, but we do need to make sure we're always remaining flexible and able to make decisions in the best interest of the safety of children," said Sprouse.
School districts are already on the clock for another snow day decision as more wintry weather is expected to hit Southern Colorado starting Tuesday afternoon.
"We're going to be monitoring that weather to make sure that our students can stay in school for a full day. If we suspect we're going to get them there and no sooner have to turn around and do an early release, that's a situation where we very carefully consider just closing for the day," said Cortez.
Many of the school districts News5 talked to say if parents make the decision to keep students home due to bad weather will not be penalized for doing so.
Here are some resources provided by some of the area school districts News5 spoke with:
District 3: https://www.wsd3.org/about/delays-closures
District 38: https://www.lewispalmer.org/Page/4174
District 49: https://www.d49.org/page/441
District 60 (Pueblo): http://www.pueblocityschools.us/parents/school-delay-closure-procedures
For all other school closing related information head to: https://koaa.com/weather/school-closings-delays
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