'Everybody else had closed them': Halifax parents frustrated with late dismissal decision
Published Monday, December 12, 2016 7:24PM AST
Monday’s storm resulted in a day off for many students in Nova Scotia, but parents in the Halifax area were only given an hour’s notice or less that schools were closing at 11:30 a.m. – sending many scrambling to get home or to school to pick up their kids.
"It would have been nice if they had decided this morning,” said parent Steve Zwicker. “Everybody else had closed them, I think around the province. So chaos now."
Some schools announced earlier in the morning classes would be dismissed by noon. Officials with the Halifax Regional School Board stand by their decision to notify parents at 11 a.m.
"As our policy indicates we try to make the decision by 11 a.m. if we're going to have a mid-morning, midday closure,” said Doug Hadley with the school board. “We made that decision at approximately 10:45 a.m., and we moved to announce it in as many ways as possible."
But parents say two hours of school for students doesn’t make sense.
“With the way the roads are it is so dangerous,” said parent Melinda Fraser. “Not only for us but for the students who are walking because you can't even see them most of the time."
Noon-hour traffic looked more like dinner time rush hour as parents drove their children home and many left work early for the day.
Almost 200 snow clearing crews hit the roads Sunday night.
"We've had our trucks out since 11 o’clock (Sunday) night doing some pre-salting and some liquid applications, trying to keep that snow from bonding onto the asphalt,” said HRM superintendent Trevor Harvie.
Drivers trying to get home ahead of the storm were faced with whiteouts whipped up by strong winds.
Parents are hopeful classes will be back on track Tuesday. If they’re not, parents are asking for more notice.
"It would have been nice, I suppose, to have learned early this morning that it was closed," said parent Patricia McLean.
Halifax’s overnight winter parking ban hasn’t started yet and won't kick in until Friday, but city officials are asking motorists to find a place to park off the roads Monday night.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.