GFPS explains school cancellation criteria

Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 18:10:16-05

GREAT FALLS – There were a lot of school closures Monday morning, but Great Falls Public Schools kept their doors open.

Superintendent Tammy Lacey said there are many factors that go into deciding if they will cancel school.

Lacey said they kept a close eye on the weather over the weekend.

“We were also in constant communication with our bus company and they assured us the buses would run this morning just fine,” Lacey said.

The bus company was able to get the buses up and running by 6 a.m. Monday.

Lacey said they understand it is cold for those who walk to and from school. She encourages parents to dress their children in extra layers, hats, and boots.

“If families do not, they need to make sure to talk to our principals. We have a lot of resources to provide warm clothing for the children,” Lacey said.

Heating and lighting are other factors officials consider. The last time GFPS canceled school was in 1989 due to a citywide power outage.

Lacey also said new boilers have been installed in the schools and they are up and running.

“We also pay attention and notice if businesses are closing in our community because we know that most of our parents actually work. If we close schools and parents have to go to work, parents have the added worry,” Lacey said.

Lacey said that for many children, their main source of nutrition is at school so they do not want to put extra stress on parents as well.

They will continue to monitor the weather throughout the day by staying in close contact with the weather service.

Children will also have inside recess on days where temperatures fall below zero.

Lacey said in the end it is up to parents if they want to keep their children home from school.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News