Poudre School District defends decision to keep schools open

Poudre School District defended its April 16 decision to delay school openings by two hours — instead of closing schools altogether — in an email to parents this afternoon. The Mountain schools — Livermore, Stove Prairie and Red Feather — did close because of adverse road conditions.

Dear Parents,

We have received numerous phone calls and emails regarding the decision for the delayed start today. Please know that these decisions are not made lightly nor without various levels of input. Here is an outline of the process for determining a closure/delay based on weather:

When the district is anticipating snow or inclement weather, transportation begins traveling roads in and around Fort Collins at 1 a.m. Drivers then give input to the Director of Transportation who discusses the situation with the Superintendent. Sometimes the Superintendent also confers with the city, county and CSU officials regarding the status of road conditions. After all input is given, the Superintendent makes a decision.

The decision can take three forms:
1) Delay 2 hours – this allows the sun to come up, for drivers to travel in the light and for streets workers to continue to plow and make road conditions better. It also allows for sidewalks to be shoveled for those students who walk/bike to school
2) Close completely
3) Open as usual

PSD tries to make this decision by 5:30 a.m. to allow for parents to plan for delayed start or closure. A phone call is then sent to all parents and staff along with an email and the information is posted on the PSD website. Local media outlets are also informed.

Based on a conference call with the city, county and CSU as well as transportation this morning, Dr. Wright decided that a delayed start was in the best interest of PSD’s 26,000+ students. We understand that some parents may disagree with this decision. Parents always retain the right to keep their child home from school (with an excused absence) if they feel it is not safe to travel.

Thank you for your continued support.

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