District should change cancellation policies with the safety of the students in mind


Jakob Aggers

The Ranger Horse in front of Lewis-Palmer High School stands out after the district called a 2 hour delay on Monday, November 7.

Jakob Aggers, Ranger Review Editor

As the school year continues on and it gets closer to winter, spirit increases and students look forward to Christmas Break as the semester winds down. But with this seasonal change, especially in Monument, Colorado, comes a drastic and abrupt change in weather. Snow falls more often and unpredictable and dangerous weather conditions occur.

For many students and teachers, this change in weather brings a sense of hope as there is an increased probability of a snow day or 2-hour delay. That is if Lewis-Palmer School District would actually call off school when the conditions are too dangerous for driving on the roads.

On Monday and Tuesday, October 30 and 31, extreme weather in Monument caused many roads to be extremely icy and unsafe to drive on. However, for Palmer Ridge High School, Lewis-Palmer High School, and Lewis-Palmer Middle School, school was still on. The district called a 2-hour delay at the last minute for all elementary schools and canceled school for Kilmer.

“I know that it’s a difficult call because they send out bus drivers really early in the morning to run the route and if it’s good, then school is on,” said Mrs. Sparks, an English teacher at Lewis-Palmer High School. “But what happened on Monday was an anomaly because it flash froze after they made the call that school was to be on. I think that the School District did the most prudent thing as most middle school and high school kids were already on the bus or at school. I think that they made the right call.”

Sure, the administrators at District 38 couldn’t have known that it would freeze later in the morning, but with weather as extreme as it was, could they not have made a prediction based on the already bad conditions? Regardless of that, the administrators made a decision as they saw the best fit, and it is was the responsibility of the students to come to school as it was still operating as usual.

However, many students didn’t come to school on Monday anyway because the road conditions were too harsh. Classes seemed empty and many students missed important content, lectures or tests.

“I ended up not making it to school on Monday because the roads were so bad. And I missed a lot of my core classes and had a ton of makeup work just because the roads were terrible and they didn’t cancel school,” said McKinzie Wade 10.

In addition to the problem of students missing school, poor communication and bad decision making by the district makes the administrators look ill-advised, unprofessional, and it seems that they have less focus on the safety of the students.

As the town of Monument grows with new homes and has had a large increase in population in recent years, Lewis-Palmer School District 38 must remember that we no longer live in a small town. It must be fluid in its forms of communication and try to be more professional.

Although the district spans a large distance- from Palmer Lake to east of Black Forest, the administrators should make sure that all students are safe on their commutes to and from school. In addition, the District should make decisions on the side of safety, rather than making a decision that could risk the lives of students.

However, on Monday, November 7, a 2 hour delay was called, which shows the District making a step towards better policies for snow days. An ice storm was forecasted for this day, and the administrators canceled school with safety in mind. Hopefully, this will be the case for days in the future where dangerous conditions impede the general safety of students.