Schools in session despite cold weather

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 19:29:57-05

TULSA -- While most schools around Green Country were closed, a few districts stayed open.

In the Tulsa metro area, classes at Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, and Union Public Schools were in session.

Lynn Wood Elementary School in Broken Arrow was open to no surprise of many parents like Kalyn Livingston.

The mother of a 6-year-old admitted, "We were excited to just kind of get a much-needed break, one extra day off, but we knew that we would probably be going to school."

Charlie Hannema, spokesman for Broken Arrow Public Schools, explained, "We operate with the belief that school should be in session unless there's a dramatic reason not to be."

School officials look at how long kids will be sitting at a bus stop and probability of road conditions causing delays when deciding whether school should be open.

Hannema said, "We also have parents who work in private business that don't have snow days. They have to take vacation days or sick days or that sort of thing. So, we're cognizant to affecting their plans and that's got childcare issues and that sort of thing."

School officials say it's important to keep school open because for some of these students, it may be the only place they get a hot meal.

Hannema explained, "Fifty percent or so of our students are on a free or reduced lunch. Especially coming off a three-day weekend with a holiday yesterday, there are a lot of kids in Broken Arrow that probably haven't had a strong, hot meal potentially since lunch on Friday."

So, with an indoor recess, limited exposure to the cold, and parents not having to make other arrangements, many moms and dads would rather their kids be in class.

Livingston said, "You know, they get their meal that way. They get to have fun. They get to learn. So, we were OK with that decision. Just make sure you bundle them up."

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