Snow Forces 90 Minute School Day

PASCO -- School delays got complicated in the Tri-Cities Monday morning. Most schools were already letting out early because of parent-teacher conferences. But combined with a 2-hour delay because of the snow, and some kids only spent about 90 minutes in class.

Pasco school officials began driving roads and checking bus routes around 2 a.m. The district says safety is its number one priority, so officials decided a few extra hours would give the roads a little more time to melt, and parents a little extra time to get their kids bundled up and off to school.

But many knew it would also be a quick turn-around to get back to school less than two hours later to pick them up. Joel Cantu has three children in the Pasco School District, and said, "I would have just kept them home. Because my other son, he's only going to school for an hour."

Other parents, like Melesa Bosley agreed it seemed silly, "But it does give me two extra hours." Elementary students in Richland and Kennewick already had the day off because of parent-teacher conferences. But Pasco was simply planning for an early release. Officials there say while the snow delay made for a short day, the district says it still equaled another day in the classroom.

Jim Morgan, Executive Director of Operations for Pasco Schools says, "When you break that pattern for two or three days, you have to go back and pick all that up. And those are two or three days that if you had been in school you could have stayed on your teaching sequence."

Canceling classes also means the missed days would ultimately have to be made up at the end of the school year.