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Parents react to news of possible two-hour delays at Westside Community Schools

Posted at 3:58 PM, Sep 26, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In a letter sent to parents Wednesday night, Westside Community Schools announced it will make two-hour delays an option for schools during severe weather.

The district said it's aware the two-hour delays could affect parent's work schedules.

"That was the whole purpose of sending a message to families and staff yesterday," said Brandi Paul, the Director of Communications and Engagement for the district. "We're not thinking about snow yet it's beautiful out here but we want to make sure we give everybody a heads up of what we're thinking of so they can get a head start and talk to their employers and plan for the winter season in the next couple of months. Living in Nebraska you never know, you may have a powerful snow storm and we have something that misses us we want to have all options on the table."

3 News Now talked to parents on the district are split, with some saying they didn't know the district was adding the two-hour delays as an option.

"I think it's a great idea," said Diana Nolte, a parent of four. "There's been so many times in the past where it's not good in the morning but it clears up and they're going to the movies or the park and they were doing things."

"It's difficult in scheduling," said Ian Thatcher, a parent in the district. "I'd almost rather take the day off then be two hours late and trying from get to and from work or to and from school multiple times during the year."

Two hour delays are common throughout much of the U.S. but for those in the Westside School District, this new two hour delay policy will be a little change of pace.

"If I'm two hours late to work I can only do that so many times before I lose my job," Thatcher said.

Busing will still happen on the days the district has two hour delays, with stops happening two hours later than planned. A two-hour delay doesn't get rid of snow days for the district, but rather gives the district another option for classes during winter conditions.

"If we can have them here in school, even if it's for a partial day, we certainly want to do that," Paul said.

Along with Westside, the Millard School District will also have two-hour delays. 3 News Now reached out to Omaha Public Schools and in an email the district said they are looking in to it.