Park City School District declares a snow day
Official: Buses may not have been unable to transport students
Park City students woke up to a belated holiday gift Tuesday morning — an extra day of winter vacation.
The Park City School District cancelled school early in the morning, as a storm blanketed the area with heavy snow. Todd Hauber, the district’s business administrator said it was the first snow day in Park City in more than a decade.
School officials monitored the storm as it came in Monday, then decided to cancel classes around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, as it became clear that plows would not be able to clear neighborhood roads throughout the area in time for school buses to pick up students, Hauber said.
“There wasn’t enough time to get that work done by the time we had to get the first buses out,” he said. “So that was the primary (reason). The main roads, Park City Municipal and Summit County were awesome — they kept the main arteries moving and open. But the secondary roads kind of got sacrificed in the process.”
Hauber said the district was also concerned Tuesday morning about weather reports that indicated a second wave of the storm was set to hit in the afternoon, which could have hindered the transportation of students after school.
School leaders will have to determine how they will make up the classroom time lost Tuesday, as Utah law dictates that school must be held for 990 hours and 180 days. Hauber said the district could choose to shorten spring break or another vacation by one day. Alternatively, the district could apply for a waiver from the Utah Board of Education that would allow it to not make up the lost day.
“We don’t have to make those decisions immediately, but we do want to make them sooner rather than later,” he said.
The district sent email and text message alerts to parents beginning around 5 a.m. to notify them about the cancellation, Hauber said.
“We knew this would catch people off guard, so we got the word out pretty early,” he said.
School officials are also monitoring storms that were scheduled to hit Wednesday morning and Thursday. Hauber said the decision whether or not to cancel class again would hinge on the condition of the roads. He urged parents to look for another alert in the event of another snow day. Parents can also visit the district’s website, pcschools.us, for information about class cancelations.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.