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Timing of Delay Announcement Upsets Parent

A last minute rain storm created possibly dangerous road conditions in Grafton.

Weather in New England can be a tricky thing to judge, but after last night's snowfall one parent in Grafton felt the schools' decision to delay was too little, too late.

"I want you to know how upset I am in the timing of your decision to delay school this morning - we were told at 6:45 a.m. - when our children's school bus driver got the call just after they had gotten onto the bus at the top of our hill," Richard Quist said in a letter to Superintendent Jay Cummings that was shared with Patch.

According to Cummings, the plan was to open schools as planned.

“The roads had all been treated before 5 a.m. and everything was good until we got a heavy rain right as the buses started,” Cummings said. “When I contacted the Department of Public Works they said the rain could have washed enough of the salt off the road to create icy conditions.”

Cummings said the decision was made immediately and that the information was shared just after the earliest school bus runs had started.

Quist’s children were among those who had boarded the bus when the delay was made public. Although, according to Quist, as soon as the bus driver was notified of the delay they turned around and dropped all the kids off at their homes.

"I appreciate the difficulties in making 'the right call', but as the head of the school department it is your responsibility to make that decision ... and waiting so long is simply unacceptable," Quist said in his letter.

Did you find the timing of today's delay inconvenient? Were your children already heading to the Middle or High School when you found out about the delay? Share your story below in the comments. 

Bob Hassinger December 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
It sounds like a decision WAS made, in the normal time frame, but them the weather changed for the worse. Should the schools have let the busses continue to run, knowing how the situation had changed, or were they right to respond to the deteriorating conditions that developed?
Grace Elizabeth Quist December 17, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The weather did not "change for the worse". It was the same weather that we had all night long Bob! The roads had not been sanded as yet and walking to the bus stop was extremely treacherous! Again, this was most certainly NOT a "change in the weather conditions". One must be able to make a decision in a timely matter for the safety of everyone involved, and that includes the teachers, support staff , and bus drivers!!!!
Wil Goen December 17, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Well Bob, it looks like you've kept your head in your little man-cave and didn't bother to take a quick glance outside: the weather was the same icy rain as it was yesterday. The situation didn't "change", Bob. Any decision made by the administration regarding the safety of students should be made with careful deliberation and isn't something that should be changed at a moments notice, especially when students were already arriving at the middle and high schools. Perhaps you don't have children Bob, (and it wouldn't be hard to see why if this is true), but it's quite obvious to anyone looking out for the well being of their own that the school's decision to remain open last night was made without consideration for the kids.
Citizen December 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM
If you thought the roads were so treacherous maybe as a parent you shouldn't have sent your children out in it...that was Your decision to make and you obviously made the wrong one
Bob Hassinger December 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
If you read the message from the schools it is clear that at decision time the highway department told the schools the roads would be OK, because they had put out salt. That is a normal situation and normally is correct. What changed was arrival, after that decision time of heavy rain the highway department had not expected. They told the schools the situation had changed and that the rain could wash the salt off the roads and result in icing. Given that change and new assesment the schools felt they needed to change their decision. If there had not been the unexpected rain the roads would have been OK and when you saw that you would have been complaining the schools had overreacted and delayed or canceled unnessesaraly, and causing you inconvenience. Blaim the weather services the highway department relies on. Hind site is always essy snd 20/20 WG.

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