Morning snow causes headaches for local students getting to scho - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Morning snow causes headaches for local students getting to school on time

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McLEAN, Va. -

Some local students and parents are scratching their heads over the decision of many area school districts to not delay classes Wednesday morning. The early snowstorm caused many kids to get to school late.

At the Cooper Middle School in Fairfax County, some students showed up for school so late, it generated automated truancy calls to their homes. A big cause of the problems here Wednesday morning was a minor traffic accident. But all across our region, there were major headaches.

Fairfax County school buses left school on time Wednesday afternoon, but that's not how many arrived. Lines of parents showed at Cooper Middle School this afternoon after putting up with the morning's mess.

It was the similar story in Montgomery County. Some Blair High School students waited out in the cold for buses that were late.

"Our bus was supposed to come at 7 [a.m.], and it's 8:15 [a.m.], We’ve been waiting for an hour and 15 minutes, and we called the bus depot and they said the bus was on the roads,” one student told us.

All of this has many parents second guessing the decision of school districts who decided to open on time despite the snow.

"The school system does what it does. Sometimes there's like this much snow and they do nothing. This morning, maybe they made a mistake,” said a Montgomery County school parent.

But Montgomery County Public Schools officials say the on-time decision was not because they have already had too many snow days.

"We don't think about how many snow days we've had,” said Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Dana Tofig. “We'll deal with that on the other side.”

Tofig said the decision was made between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. He acknowledges some buses were delayed due to the snow, but says it's a judgment call.

"Could they get kids safely to school? Could our staff get safely to school? We felt like they could, so we made the call with the best information we had,” Tofig said.

Clearly though, the morning didn't go as planned. And in a winter that seems to have no end, there is no end to debating what should -- and should not -- be a "snow day."

School officials won't put an exact time on when you should know if a school is closed. But in Montgomery County, they say if you haven’t heard anything by 4:30 a.m., it's likely that school is starting on time. Signing up for text messaging and emails is the fastest way to get that information.

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