Mixed reaction from parents as Halifax schools opt for early dismissal
HALIFAX -- Thursday's snow didn't amount to much in many areas, but it was enough to prompt the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) to do something it's never done before.
Even before the noon hour hit, parents began gathering outside schools around the Halifax Regional Municipality.
"I just picked up one kid at this school," said one parent. "I have to get to the other school by 12 o'clock to pick up the other child."
It was already known it would be a half-day of school before anybody even entered the building.
"It's the first time we've ever done it and we did it because we wanted to give parents a lot of notice because we know when we make a decision at 11 o'clock and tell parents we're dismissing immediately, that causes a lot of confusion and puts a lot of families into inconvenient places," said HRCE spokesman Doug Hadley.
It's challenging for some parents, especially those who have to work during the daytime – as most do.
"I'd rather have full day," said one parent. "To have to come out for three hours trying to get to your own office, it doesn't work too well."
The HRCE was trying to salvage what it could from the school day.
"We were not concerned with getting students to school. We were not concerned about getting students home around the lunch hour, but it was in that three to four o'clock range where there would have been about 10 centimetres down which would have fallen in a short few hour time span," Hadley said.
The snow turned to slush pretty quickly on the streets of Halifax, prompting another on-street parking ban for the third night in a row.
Hadley said the HRCE did hear from parents that were not happy about the half-day of school, regardless of the prior notice.
He said all that feedback will be taken into account for the future.