Boise, Meridian school districts decide to hold classes Thursday

Credit: Paul Boehlke / KTVB

Boise, Meridian school districts decide to hold classes Thursday

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 10:41 PM

BOISE -- The icy roads caused more than 30 school closures in the Treasure Valley Thursday. Notably, Boise and Meridian schools did not close.

Boise School District's spokesman, Dan Hollar, says they are now thinking that in hindsight they made the wrong decision:

"We made the decision early this morning approximately 5 a.m., and at that time the weather conditions were certainly not what they were an hour and half, two hours later. We made the best decision at that time given the information that we had.  We don't make the decision in isolation we are actually out driving the roads, we consider the weather reports throughout the evening. The weather report showed it was going to turn to snow. Well it didn't occur and obviously we made a decision that we thought was best at that time and in hindsight it probably was not the best decision.  But once we get the buses rolling it's hard to stop that system so now we are in the process of canceling programs making the best decision from the stand point of making sure we continue to operate safely and securely for those students. We've tried to communicate to the parents, we understand they're upset and we appreciate and understand that and now we are in the process of trying to best decide how to operate the rest of the day."

Right before noon the Boise School District announced that afternoon kindergarten, afternoon preschool, and evening classes are canceled as well as some afternoon programs including the Treasure Valley Mathematics and Science Center Afternoon Program and the Professional Technical Education Program.

Eric Exline with the Meridian School District echoed Hollar's concerns. Exline said they have to make the decision by six in the morning, and preferably earlier.  But once they make the decision to hold classes, it's virtually impossible to reverse it.

"We're putting 250 buses out on the road, they're picking up about 13,000 kids, and once you make the call that that system has started, to then, if you see the conditions are getting worse, it's very hard to stop it," said Exline.

Exline said this is the kind of situation where they would like to have had a late start, but they've never been able to pull that off logistically. He said it was a tough day for busing, and they had reports of kids waiting at their bus stop for 40 minutes.

In the end, Exline said a student's safety is the parent's decision.

To watch Hollar's full interview with KTVB acknowledging that they may not have made the best decision, click the play icon above. To watch it on the mobile app, go to the video tab.

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