Downvalley school superintendent: decision to hold classes ‘clear cut’ |

Downvalley school superintendent: decision to hold classes ‘clear cut’

New Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Judy Haptonstall stood firm behind her decision to hold school in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs today even as the snow piled up.

“It really was clear cut,” Haptonstall said of her decision.

She said her team consults with the Colorado State Patrol, state and county road maintenance crews and people living throughout the district to make a decision to hold or cancel school.

“Safety is the key piece,” she said. If kids can’t be delivered to school safely in one part of the district, such as Basalt, school is canceled throughout the district, she said.

The decision to hold school surprised some parents. One mom, who wanted to remain anonymous, questioned if kids really could be taken to school safely after venturing out on icy roads with moderate snow coming down this morning. Anywhere from six to 12 inches had fallen in the Basalt and El Jebel area by 11:30 a.m.

The Aspen School District canceled classes, as did several private schools in the upper valley.

Haptonstall said she received “five or six” telephone calls from parents in Carbondale and Basalt who “were really distressed” that school wasn’t canceled because of the weather.

“I know it’s snowy but we do live in the mountains,” said Haptonstall, a longtime assistant superintendent in the Roaring Fork School District who took over as superintendent this year when Fred Wall retired.

The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.

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