Fort Thomas schools don't cancel classes - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Fort Thomas schools don't cancel classes

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX10) -  In northern Kentucky, there were some peeved parents Monday.

In Fort Thomas, the superintendent decided to keep school on, despite the eroding weather conditions.

"I feel it's absolutely ridiculous," said parent, Andy Cavanaugh, who has a son in the first grade at Ruth Moyer Elementary School. He said this was a scheduled make-up day, but not a day to be out and about in the bad weather.

"It's dangerous on the roads, for the parents to get the kids here," Cavanaugh said. "They can walk but it's kind of a pain."

Kind of a pain, when most sidewalks are not cleared, and forget about walking in the streets.

"It was a little bit difficult," said his wife Bridget. "I thought it would be easier to walk and then I soon found out the snow was almost as tall as I am so it was a little bit of a stumbling-type situation walking in the traffic a little bit."

"I wasn't very happy about it," said Lisa Dasti, another parent.

"I'd rather make it up on a day that's better than when we have weather like this," said Dasti. "I live on a hill so it took me forever to get up my street to get here this morning."

Tommy Weber voiced his opinion on FOX 19's chat Monday morning.

"Like a slushy mess, icy, snowy terrible conditions," said Weber.

He was not digging being out in the weather, despite driving a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.

"The roads were that bad. They shouldn't have been here today," said Weber. "It's ridiculous."

"It was very icy and slippery and when you walk sometimes you might fall," said a student.

Superintendent John Williamson gave the green light around 5 a.m.

"This particular morning the predictions were up to 6 inches by 1pm, and then an additional 2 inches by 7pm," said Williamson. "So our logic was that we would have a window between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to clear the roads so students could get home safely."

Fort Thomas schools are notorious for going to class, no matter what.

"Notorious," said Principal Jay Brewer. "That's an interesting choice of words, I would say famous for not calling off."

"The instructional routine we stay in is real strength of Fort Thomas schools in getting kids into that rhythm of learning," Brewer said. "So it's key for us." 

While some parents were unhappy with Williamson's decision to keep class in session, others were glad he gave the day a go, despite waking-up to another fresh round of snow.

"We've had a couple that say, this is the way it's always been in Fort Thomas and we applaud your decision," said Williamson. "So it is truly is about 50-50 on any decision we make."

"The instructional routine we stay in, is a real strength of Fort Thomas schools in getting kids into that rhythm of learning," Brewer said. "So it's key for us."

And keeping that rhythm is a challenge for everyone.

"The challenge here obviously is that it doesn't cease so we try and conserve our salt when we can, try and run our routes, plow, keep it pushed down, pushed back," said Ron Dill, General Services Director for Fort Thomas. Dill said their strategy was to apply heavy salt about two hours before school let out. "We'll do 12-hour shifts til it stops."

"I'm constantly in contact with Ron Dill," Williamson said. "With the City Of Fort Thomas and operations and our own director of operations here in the District to make sure our campuses can be safe and are passable for students."

They are passable, with the help of parents.

"The traffic helps with the salt and the friction," said Dill. "When the school lets out there'll be plenty of traffic."

"It's dangerous on the roads," said Cavanaugh. "For the parents to get the kids here."

It was just another snow day in paradise right? Not so, said parent Bridget Cavanaugh.

"It was a little bit difficult," she said. "I thought it would be easier to walk and then I soon found out the snow was almost as tall as I am so it was a little bit of a stumbling-type situation walking in the traffic a little bit."

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