WAUKEE, Iowa — The timing of Tuesday’s winter storm made for difficult decisions at school districts across the metro. While some students woke up to cancelled classes, others headed to school only to be let out early a few hours later.
Preschool pickup was at 11:30 a.m., the same time as elementary school pickup,” said Brianne Thomason, a Waukee parent who was picking up her kids from school on Tuesday, ahead of the storm. “So, I had to pick him up and take him out of school early, to be able to get in line to pick up because the pickup gets a little crazy.”
It was inconvenient and a bit of a hassle.
“I kinda wish they had cancelled it flat out,” said Thomason. “I called my husband right after they announced, and yeah it would have been a lot easier to just be safe, be warm this morning, especially since we knew the storm was coming.”
Thomason isn’t the only one who wishes the Waukee Community School District had cancelled school this morning.
“Yes, I think sometimes they need to decide and decide earlier,” said Linda Johnson, a Waukee grandparent. “Because it really disrupts people’s lives, wondering how they’re going to get their kids to and from school.”
Not long after Linda Johnson had dropped off her granddaughter at school, she had to turn around and pick her up.
“Normally she takes the bus,” said Johnson. “But, because of the weather and that, I brought her and so dropped her off 8:30-8:45, and then just got home at 9:00 and was notified they were getting out 11:30.”
But Kristel Linberg is sympathetic to the dilemma that Iowa school districts face in deciding whether or not to cancel.
“I appreciate the fact that they are just trying to be cautious,” said Linberg. “I mean it’s really difficult for them to decide whether or not the kids should be going or not. I realize that sometimes they have to be cautious and sometimes they just have to make the best decision that they can.”
Even if that caution makes life more difficult for parents, grandparents, and students.
“Yeah it is a hassle,” said Linberg. “But you know what, that’s part of living in the Midwest. I mean, the weather is unpredictable, so we just make the best of it.”
In a statement to WHO-TV, Amy Varcoe, director of communications for the Waukee Community School District said the following:
“Student and staff safety is our top priority. Delaying or canceling school is not an easy call and we would never purposefully put our staff or students in harm’s way. There are several factors that go into the decision to cancel school or not, and it’s certainly an important one with 11,500+ students throughout the Waukee Community School District. For more information on how weather-related decisions are made please visit https://waukeeschools.org/district/safety-security/closings-delays/.”