Students are expected to go to school amid white-out conditions

With terrible weather and road conditions, the district did not call a snow day and has still required students to attend school


Aiden Owen

Snow days are now being replaced by online learning.

With frigid temperature of 21° F, a harsh wind speed of 16 mph, and horrendous road conditions, many people expected that a snow day be declared in the St. Vrain Valley School District. However, this was not the case.

There were no calls out to parents to declare a snow day meaning that students were still expected to show up promptly at 7:15 for their first block classes.

But this would not prove to be an easy feat.

With near white-out conditions, icy roads, and fast winds, driving was made a challenge for both student drivers and experienced drivers alike.

Coming into first block alone, many students had complaints of almost being in several accidents as they drove to school.

Junior Kryssa Murray commented, “I almost got into an accident, it’s not safe outside.”

Many more students had similar claims of terrible roads and near accidents, saying that they should not have been driving today but still had to attend school.

In addition, some students were involved in accidents. Students have described slipping off the road and into ditches and one student, junior Melody Godo, reported damage to her car.

“It happened at 6:45 this morning on my way to school,” she said. “It was just me who was involved, but many other cars in that area were sliding and it clearly wasn’t safe. I wasn’t hurt thankfully. The damage was bad to my car the tire had come off due to me sliding into the curb.”

Godo believes that school should’ve been canceled or delayed today because of the slippery roads and unsafe driving conditions. “I do honestly think that having kids come to school on a snowy day like today is too risky… if we didn’t have school today I wouldn’t be having to pay for my damaged car.”

Mrs. Carolyn Willis, an English long-term sub, remarked, “My concern was that visibility was extremely low—especially with our early start time where it’s already dark every morning—and then you add the fog and snow… The visibility was just nerve-wracking. Even as a careful driver, visibility is absolutely key to get anywhere safely; so when you have a group of inexperienced drives without any visibility… I would worry about their safety.”

“High school students are generally inexperienced drivers. This is not the kind of practice they need,” commented Mr. Fred Wilson, a business teacher.

“The snow’s just gotten worse from this morning and I’ve heard from multiple people how slick the roads are [and] the snow and the winds is going to make it so hard to see,” another junior, Jake Wachter, said via text.

In addition to dangerous conditions for student drivers, there were also cases of bus delays.

According to junior Trevin Haines, his bus, bus number 170, was extremely delayed, even to the point of students abandoning the idea of waiting for it in favor of taking their own snow day. The bus is supposed to arrive at its stop at 6:34, but Haines was there until 6:55 before giving up and having his father drive him to school. He arrived at around 7:28.

The bus would eventually pick up its students sometime after Haines left. It arrived at the school at around 7:32 bringing ten students out of their estimated 25-30 students.

There are multiple Winter Weather Advisories in counties across Colorado including (but not limited to) Boulder County, Chaffee County, and Clear Creek County. There have been accidents reported along I-25 and Sheridan Blvd. The Mead PD went on accident alert at 6:44. Roads all across Colorado are experiencing blockage and severe traffic. Below is a screenshot from Denver 7’s Traffic Report.

A screenshot of Devner 7’s traffic report taken at 7:43 this morning.

Students might be wondering why the administration didn’t close the school today, but they might not know that it is not in admin’s power to call snow days.

Assistant Principal Alain Valette explained that administration has no control over whether or not the school declares a snow day. “It’s usually up to the superintendent and the Head of Transportation [on whether we get a snow day or not]… We get the phone call saying, ‘Hey, it’s a snow day,’ when the parents do.”

We attempted to reach out to the Superintendent, Dr. Don Haddad, but he was unavailable for comment.

Valette claimed that the reason the district might not have called a snow day was that the snow started too late, but even he was uncertain.

The Mav urges students to be careful on the roads if they are driving any time soon.

The snow is reported to start dying down around noon according to AccuWeather.