Local school officials explain two hour delays - WNEM TV 5

Local school officials explain two hour delays

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Virtually every school system in our viewing area is operating on a two hour delay Tuesday. The kids may be happy, but some parents are questioning the decision.

"It's insane," said Henrico parent Joanna Wilson. "I don't understand. I went to school when it was cold."

We spoke with Henrico, Richmond, and Chesterfield officials about the decision to delay school.

"Each decision is made differently," said Andy Jenks with Henrico County Schools. "In this case, the two hour delay is built to anticipate the unexpected."

School officials are confident in their decision.

"When we saw a forecast for wind chills below zero degrees that certainly is a marked change from what we've had in years past," said Shawn Smith with Chesterfield Schools.

There are 60,000 students in Chesterfield alone. 45,000 of those students ride school buses. Chesterfield, Henrico, and Richmond school officials all note starting diesel vehicles in cold weather can be challenging.

"What you don't want to have is a group of students standing out in the cold with no sun in their face at say 7 AM freezing because their bus isn't going to get there," said Jenks.

The concerns do not just center around diesel vehicles.

"We don't want our students in a very cold building," said Felicia Cosby with Richmond Public Schools. "We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are doing this for the well being of our students."

12-month employees should report to school on time or as conditions permit.

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