Snowfall causes school closures
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Area school administrators anticipate being back in class on Thursday after a Weather Alert day forced schools and businesses to close their doors.
“This isn’t necessarily something that we’re very accustomed to,” said Callie Berkson, public information officer for Mesa Valley School District 51. “So we don’t get a lot of snow, and we certainly don’t see continuous snow very often, and we don’t see it every year.”
But this year is different, and Grand Junction is not alone; schools all over Colorado canceled classes. “If you’re not used to driving in this weather, it certainly doesn’t make it any more comforting to have your children in the backseat of your car or have your children on those buses,” said Berkson.
There are many moving parts when deciding if classes should be canceled due to the snow. District 51 consults with their snow team. It’s made up of departments like safety and security and operations and Student Transportation of America-- the busing service. Team members drive to test for conditions, and then the district turns to other governments like the county, city, and the weather service.
“Those decisions are typically made no later than six, but what happened this morning was we called the two-hour delay to keep our families and our staff as safe as possible while traveling to work. Then the storm actually came in after we called that two-hour delay, and it wasn’t letting up. So we wanted to make sure that we didn’t put anybody’s lives in danger.”
It’s not the amount of snow, but the risk that has the final word.
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