SJSD Addresses School Cancellation Concerns

SJSD Addresses School Cancellation Concerns

Cold weather left some parents fuming as their kids bundled up for school. The district said they understand the concerns, but said they made the right call to keep school in session.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Sub-zero temperatures, and bone-chilling winds didn't stop students in the St. Joseph School District from going to school Thursday.

That's because they didn't have a choice. Some parents were furious that the district decided to keep schools open with the extreme weather conditions, and they showed their disapproval on social media.

"I think it was absolutely too cold to be sending kids to school," said Shanna Trower, a concerned parent.

"It's never an easy decision of us having school, not having school. Are you below what's considered the cold weather rule or policy, are you above it," said Jake Long from the St. Joseph School District.

The District's cold weather rule goes into effect when the air temperature is below zero, with a 20 below wind chill.

Just before 8 a.m. on Thursday, the temperature was 2 below in St. Joseph.

"We do recognize that it was extremely cold this morning, but it was one of those calls where early on, we were not to the cold weather rule," said Long.

The district made the decision to go ahead with classes around 5:30 Thursday morning.

School officials said weather projections, at that time, came close to meeting the cold weather rule, but didn't quite get there.

"It was around zero, with a minus 15 [degrees] to a minus 16 [degrees]," said Long.

Long also said a school delay was not an option because it would cause confusion with the school bus system, and also be an inconvenience for parents.

"What are they going to do with their elementary-aged kids, until 11 o'clock, when we know they've got to go to work?" said Long.

While most parents were raging about sending their children to school in the cold, Mychal Sanchez had no problem with the district's decision.

"If you live out here, you should know somewhat how to deal with it, or be able to deal with it," said Sanchez.

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