Open or closed. It can be a difficult decision for school districts to make when wind and snow combine to cover the roads.
On Thursday, Peoria Public Schools was one of the few large districts that chose to keep kids at home. It is a decision they said they do not take lightly.
Peoria Public Schools said they are up all hours of the night to make the important decision after a storm.
"Transportation crews go out and test the roads and they test at 1 A.M, 2 A.M , 3 A.M to see what the road conditions are like especially on our bus routes. " said Thomas Bruch, the Communications Director for the district
He said the final call was made around 4 A.M
"There was a lot of sliding going on in our vehicles, attempting to stop at stop signs and going through stop signs so at that point it's all about safety. Safety of the students, staff members, etc. So we erred on the side of safety." said Bruch
Public Works mangers said they were in communication with the district throughout the evening and morning.
"Their timing and our timing has to mesh and apparently today (Thursday) it may not have meshed based on the working storm, what we were doing, and when their decision had to be made." said Supt. of Operations, Sie Maroon
"It almost has to become they have to have faith in us." said Maroon, "When we say we're going to and we're planning on to and going to have our arterial streets in good enough condition by the rush hour commute we typically know if we can do that or not. Everything kinda came together at 5, 6 o'clock."
Some parents were frustrated. One comment on our Facebook page said, "All the surrounding schools were still in session, including those with rural areas. It has been way worse before and they were still in session."
While others supported the closure stating it mitigated the risk of accidents and still allowed the students to learn. One viewer said, "This was also a great way to test out the 'work from home' type of strategy they have built for snow days. "
Those 'learning anywhere, anytime' days were approved by the state last fall. Students with internet access have assignments online and those without were given packets to work from.
So they do get credit for attendance…as long as they do the work.