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WFPS cancels school giving families short notice to pick up their children

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West Fargo Public Schools logo(Valley News Live)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:03 AM CST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A half-hour before its scheduled delay start, West Fargo Public School officials canceled school for Jan. 5. School buses had already begun picking up students by the time the cancelation was announced.

In an email to parents officials say bus drivers will finish their routes to make sure no students are left outside waiting for their bus. Once completed, those students will be taken to their school where parents need to pick them up immediately.

Christina McNeal’s two children attend West Fargo Public Schools. After getting snowed in she decided to keep them home from school instead of sending them on the bus.

“If anything happened at school I wouldn’t have been able to go get her and I wouldn’t have been able to get out of the house,” she explained.

As the school bus drove by her house McNeal got a call from the district informing them school was canceled for the day.

“I don’t know what I would have done! Maybe called an Uber to go pick up my child from school or something?” said McNeal.

The district’s short notice decision sparked criticism from parents. School officials pointed their fingers at the City of West Fargo saying they didn’t know the public works department couldn’t keep the roads open until an hour before school was scheduled to start.

“We were having trouble especially south of the interstate trying to keep anything open to get the buses through,” explained Matthew Andvick, the City of West Fargo Public Works Director.

“Anytime we go down a road it just fills in right behind us,” he added.

Here is the full email sent to parents on Jan. 5:

WFPS families and staff:

“At the request of the City of West Fargo, the district has made the decision to cancel school for today, Wednesday, January 5. The current and forecasted weather conditions have severely impacted the City’s ability to keep our roads clear and neighborhoods open. For the safety of all our students, staff, and families, and to be a good community partner, this is the best decision to make, even though the timing is not ideal.

The Transportation Department has already begun running routes for our elementary students. The drivers will finish their routes to ensure no student is left outside at a stop. Once the route is completed, the bus will go to the school and drop off the students. Parents need to pick up their students immediately. To ensure that students are not dropped off without an adult home or the ability to get into the house, we will not be running bus routes to return students. Middle and high school bus routes have not yet started, but if your secondary student has already left for school or been dropped off at their school, please have them picked up immediately.

Since this is an emergency storm day, there will be NO virtual learning for today.

Staff members: please watch for additional communication shortly regarding staff expectations for the remainder of the day.”

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