(KMOV) -- Some parents of students in the St. Louis Public School district are questioning why the district remained open Thursday despite the icy conditions.
News 4 crews working on the story spotted some students falling on ice covered sidewalks and witnessed a First Student bus slide into a curb. That bus could not open its door to let students out. In south St. Louis two school buses got stuck on ice covered roads.
News 4 contacted SLPS and received this statement from Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams through district spokesperson Patrick Wallace. “First and foremost, the safety of our students is the main priority when making a decision to cancel school or keep the buildings open. When the weather conditions are less than perfect, the District has a process in place to analyze the conditions very early in the morning and make a decision to open or close based on the best information available. With schools in our District starting as early as 7am, this decision must be made early enough to inform parents and staff before they head out the door for school. In today’s case, the District’s transportation director and the superintendent drove city streets to assess the conditions first-hand during the very early morning hours. After then consulting with our school bus provider, the decision was made that students could be transported safely to school and therefore schools are open today. Closing schools on very short notice creates a real hardship for many of our parents in regards to childcare, as the parents are still required to report to work.”
Statement from First Student:
"When inclement weather occurs and there is a question about school operation, our safety supervisors report to work early to assess weather and road conditions. They provide recommendations to school district officials, who make the ultimate decision on whether to call off school.
In the event of snow and ice, our team begins pre-trip preparations early to ensure ample time for pre-trip inspections, starting the bus, removing snow and ice from the exterior of the bus, etc.
Our drivers are well trained for inclement weather driving. The safety and security of the students we transport to and from school each day is our top priority and a responsibility our drivers take very seriously. Our drivers make every effort to arrive at each stop on time and will always proceed with caution in snowy conditions. Please be patient.
We ask that motorists be aware of school buses on the road, especially when the weather is poor. Leave plenty of room between your car and the bus and watch for students as they prepare to board the bus. Parents should make sure their children are bundled up as they wait for the bus. Hats, coats, gloves and snow boots are important!
When I spoke with a member of our St. Louis team this morning, she indicated that home to school travel has been fairly smooth, especially considering the snowy conditions. We have had very few delays.
We do not anticipate any issues with afternoon transportation."
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