Empty classroom

Parents across several Mid-Michigan communities are demanding to know why their children’s school districts were open on Wednesday.

Some parents are accusing schools of staying open because Wednesday was Michigan’s second count day for the 2018-2019 school year.

Most Mid-Michigan schools were closed, but a handful chose to stay open – including Saginaw Township and Freeland Schools.

The decision divided parents on social media with many criticizing the move and others supporting the school.

“This one was probably the toughest decision,” Saginaw Township Superintendent Bruce Martin said.

Martin said he decided to keep schools open after receiving positive reports on the roads from their transportation director and local road crews.

“Our districts are in good shape. Our roads are in good shape. So we felt like it was the right thing to do to have school today and to have kids in class,” Martin said.

Some of those criticizing the decision wanted to know if Wednesday being a school count day played a factor. Count day is the state’s way of tracking attendance, which then determines a school’s funding.

Freeland Schools Superintendent Matt Cairy said that had nothing to do with it.

“It makes no difference. We make the decision whether to have school or not independently of anything else going on. It’s solely about whether or not we can get kids to school safely,” Cairy said.

The same goes for Martin. He said he doesn’t want parents to do anything that makes them uncomfortable. He wants to assure the public that count day will go on despite students not attending.

“And that’s fine. I completely respect that. That’s every parent’s decision. We’ll count their student tomorrow or the next day they come back,” Martin said.

Martin also said they are planning to reschedule Friday, March 1 into a school day, which is the Friday at the end of parent teacher conference week, due to excessive snow days.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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