Green Country School Districts Undecided On How To Make Up Snow Days

Thursday, February 10th 2011, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Dozens of Green Country school districts say the roads still aren't clear enough to hold classes Friday.

See a list of school closings

"Oh, no," Brent Ralston, a Union parent, said laughing. "What are we going to do for another day so we don't kill each other?"

School officials say it's no easy decision to cancel classes.

2/9/2011 Related Story: TPS Asks For Community Input On How To Make Up Snow Days

"How hard is that decision to make? How heavy is it? It's very heavy and I don't make it lightly," Dr. Keith Ballard, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, said.

Ballard says it all comes down to student safety. While the district has cleared most parking lots and sidewalks, Ballard says neighborhood roads around one-third of Tulsa schools still aren't safe for school buses or walking students.

"The word that was used was impassable so we're having a lot of difficulty getting into the school sites," he said.

Tulsa Public Schools anticipates having to make up four snow days and the district launched an online survey to find out when parents prefer to make those days up.

"What's leading the preference are the three days that are out there," Ballard said.

Those days are next Friday, February 18, 2011, which is a professional day for teachers; that following Monday, February 21, 2011, which is President's Day; and April 8, 2011, which was reserved for parent teacher conferences.

But no decisions have been made yet.

Union Public Schools is looking at tacking on the days to the end of the year, which doesn't sit well with one weather-weary mom.

"I do wish that the schools would have a snow or ice routine that we could do so they're not missing so much school," Ralston said. "And it's not disrupting schedules long term and going into the summer."

A lot of factors go into whether these districts have school.

Dr. Ballard insists the primary factor is student safety. But attendance is an issue.

If schools were open and students didn't show up, it could cost the district money and potentially land them on the federal needs improvement list.