Oklahoma Schools Open Doors But Few Students Enter After Snow

Tuesday, February 4th 2014, 10:51 pm
By: News On 6

Many parents across the Tulsa metro decided to keep their children home even though districts gave the all-clear to have school.

The low attendance rates may impact how districts consider future snow days.

Tulsa Public Schools said there are a lot of factors that go into deciding if classes will go on as scheduled.

2/4/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Schools Plowing Roads To Keep Students Safe In Storm

There was a little snow on the ground outside Booker T Washington High School, but it appeared as if things were running as normal.

From watching the buses leave campus, you couldn't tell attendance across the district was down for the day.

Chris Payne, with Tulsa Public Schools said, "I think maybe some parents just decided that they would just take the decision into their own hands and keep their children safe just by not leaving the house."

Of the district's almost 40,000 students, one of every three didn't show up for class.

The reason for missing school varies. Some parents voiced their concerns on Facebook after learning the district had no plans to cancel class.

One person wrote, "If they were my children, I would have kept them home today."

One student said, "We should not have had school today. My Spanish teacher's car flipped on those roads on her way to school. Way to go TPS. I hope you're happy you're putting lives in danger."

"We had some that were like, 'Hey it was a good call, I didn't have any troubles,' to some very frustrated parents saying, 'it should have been closed today, weather was terrible,'" Payne said.

Payne also said the low attendance rates won't affect the district financially, but it can have an impact in the classroom.

"Teachers make plans for that day, lesson plans, and you know sometimes you have activities where if you don't have all the kids present, it's probably harder to do, so yeah it has an impact," said Payne.

Tulsa Public Schools wasn't alone. Bixby's attendance rate was down by nearly ten percent.

Union typically has a five percent absentee rate. On Tuesday that number jumped to 17 percent.

The district said besides the weather, common winter colds also contributed to the higher numbers.

Broken Arrow Public Schools said their attendance report will not be ready until Wednesday.