Several Utah School Districts Choose Not To Take Snow Day
Feb 3, 2020, 9:23 PM | Updated: 9:33 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Schools like West High School here in the Salt Lake City School District were closed Monday but they got as much snow as districts like Granite and Davis, which decided to stay open.
So why did some district officials decide to stay open? They said it was because students needed them.
What turned out to be a snow day for lots of Utah students was still a school day for many others.
“My kids are kind of bummed,” said Dawnyle Haugen. “They both kind of wanted a snow day, but they’re in school.”
While some school districts across the state decided to shut down for the storm, others, like Weber, Davis, Ogden and Granite stayed open or started late.
“If and when possible, and we can be open, we want to provide a safe and warm place for kids to be,” said Ben Horsley with the Granite School District.
The Granite School District has about 65,000 students. Officials said about two-thirds of them are on free or reduced lunch and many wouldn’t have a warm meal if schools were closed.
Still, only about a hundred kids showed up at Woodrow Wilson Elementary. District officials said all their schools were down in attendance. Some only had half as many kids as on a normal school day.
The low attendance came even after officials announced school would start two hours late to give people plenty of time to be safe on the roads and avoid some of the early morning traffic.
“It’s kind of pushed everything back but at least the kids are getting to school,” Haugen said.
Administrators from several districts said they got a lot of backlash from parents on social media for deciding to stay open. Their response — they respect parents’ decisions on what would be best for their kids.
“If you felt like it wasn’t safe to come to school that is totally within your rights and we’re going to work with you as a family to make sure you’re not negatively impacted by the weather,” Horsley said.
District officials said they plan to be lenient with tardies and absences and principals and teachers will work with students who missed school Monday.
Some districts, such as Alpine and Nebo, said they couldn’t start classes late due to Monday being an early-out day.