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Wednesday’s school closings, other cancellations

December 9, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated December 9, 2009, 9:22 a.m.


Winter weather a slippery situation for motorists

This Toyota Camry slid off the road and into the woods Wednesday morning near the intersection of Inverness and Heritage drives in west Lawrence. Enlarge video

With snow still moving through the area and bitterly cold temperatures expected, area school districts started calling off classes more than 12 hours before they were even scheduled to begin.

The following districts have announced school closings...

Veritas Christian School - closed

USD 232 De Soto - closed

USD 341 Oskaloosa - closed

USD 342 McLouth - closed

USD 343 Perry-Lecompton - closed

USD 348 Baldwin City - closed

USD 434 Santa Fe Trail - closed

USD 453 Lansing - closed

USD 458 Basehor-Linwood - closed

USD 464 Tonganoxie - closed

USD 491 Eudora - closed

The following events and services have been cancelled, postponed or delayed...

State government offices in Topeka - closed

Douglas County Senior Services No senior meals or senior transportation.

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department morning fitness classes - cancelled. This would include classes like Senior Strength Training, Zumba and Yoga, the city said. Aquatic classes will continue as scheduled.

LHS boys swim meet in Manhattan - cancelled. No reschedule date has been picked yet.

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annapopiel 8 years, 6 months ago

I wish Lawrence will make a decision before 6am; I mean: yes or no, I need to know sooner that early morning

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 6 months ago

They won't call it! I am telling you it has to be armageddon.

supernik 8 years, 6 months ago

i agree! if they are going to close just do it now, before i go to bed and wake the kids up for school to find out that there isnt any.

supernik 8 years, 6 months ago

spacy i hope you are right!! this is my first year here in the lawrence district and before that we were at tongie who as you can see close at a sprinkling of snow -

Julie Jacob 8 years, 6 months ago

I too wish Lawrence would announce a close before bed if they are going to. But then again, I seriously doubt that they will!

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

It's not so much the snow that may make schools close, but the unbearably cold temperatures and wind chill.

kahsmom 8 years, 6 months ago

supernik...have you ever been on the back roads that the buses drive on to pick-up all the kids that live outside of Tongie on a day like today?

I rather not have the school district endangering the lives of our kids when all the wet has been frozen over & then snowed on. I'm glad they made the decision tonight instead of in the morning. Especially since it will be so cold tomorrow with no chance for the roads to thaw & clear.

As for Lawrence schools, they most likely won't be canceled & some parents are going to have to find ways to get their kids to school so that they are not out walking in the cold. You do have the choice to keep your kids home from school tomorrow if you are not happy with the roads.

supernik 8 years, 6 months ago

yes, actually i have, many many many many many times. i didnt say anything negative about it. my son rode on those buses - i rode those buses - it was a comparison as to how often the schools close not to the reason -

kansasmutt 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow, when i was in school back in the 60s and 70s in the lawrence dist they never shut down, even with 30" of snow and 40 mph winds. Are our kids really so much pu@#ys they cant go to school in 1" of snow nowadays ? 12-21-2012 may as well come early with this sissy bunch of kids coming up now.

kidscount 8 years, 6 months ago

Hope Lawrence Public Schools realize that with budget cuts was a loss of buses transporting. Many children have to walk to school and with temps falling, not sure the best idea is having school in session Wednesday! Just saying!!

Denny2009 8 years, 6 months ago

haha mutt i agree.. people panic at first sight of snow. put a coat on and wear something on your'll make it.

Lori Nation 8 years, 6 months ago

I am surprised the school district hasn't said they have spent 2 million for their own snow plows just to keep the schools open :)

Hilary Morton 8 years, 6 months ago


we actually had no closings last year at all. In Anchorage, people are quite prepared for the amount of snow they receive. It's never that much in KS, so people don't accomodate for that much snow. It depends from year to year. This year, I suspect we'll see some closings.

proudmomof4 8 years, 6 months ago

If the schools close or not.....the bottom line is that you are the parent and if you think it is to cold or to dangerous for your child to go to make the decision, you don't need USD 497 to make that decision for you :)

Clare Galloway 8 years, 6 months ago

ok i agree with you proud mom--but the school will still count the kid as unexcused and they will get behind in work--

Clare Galloway 8 years, 6 months ago

i wish they will update sooner last time was 12 am.

Clare Galloway 8 years, 6 months ago

last school to ever close had been lawrence

Bobbi Walls 8 years, 6 months ago

even Topeka was smart enough to close school today...

ohgeeze 8 years, 6 months ago

I've been out on the roads this morning. The side streets are pretty horrible...the wind is crazy, and the main streets are pretty slick as well...but probably not enough to have Dr. Doll call off school....of course he won't be thinking about how those kids who now have no bussing will still have to walk to school...but that's not his problem, right?? He's comfy in his big house with heat and blankets...

Clare Galloway 8 years, 6 months ago

it is entirely too cold let alone the danger of driving right now--wish Usd 497 would hurry and call off school

ballet_dancer_mom 8 years, 6 months ago

you may want to update your site, there are now other schools in the area closed

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 6 months ago

Closed or not, the kids in my house will be HERE all day. It's just too cold and it's a short day. BTW if you call the school and let them know your child isn't coming today, it's an EXCUSED absence. It's only unexcused if you don't call.

Bobbi Walls 8 years, 6 months ago

while I would love to keep my kids home today, my oldest will fall behind and I don't want that to happen... I hate to say it, but lawrence dropped the ball on this one. It would have been so easy to call school when it was a half day instead of a full one.

Raider 8 years, 6 months ago

What a bunch of weenies! We barely got any snow. OF course they shouldn't close 497. Suck it up, leave early and drive your kids to school. Slap a coat on them, and turn on the heater in your cars. Sheesh. You don't see businesses shutting down, and giving people snow days from work do you?

Kookamooka 8 years, 6 months ago

I also saw where Baldwin, Eudora and Desoto are closed. Why aren't they updating this. I saw it on Channel4 1/2 hour ago.

LadyJ 8 years, 6 months ago

It would be nice if the city would snow plow the streets around the schools that the parents have to use to drop the kids off, not just the main streets that might run by it. Some schools have drop offs that are not on the main streets. At least make it safer and less chance of someone getting stuck and causing a backup.

julienstockwell 8 years, 6 months ago

I have a serious concern for the fact that I didn't wash my pants in preparation for school today. I think the members of the USD 497 school-depravation board should take this into account and call a snow day. I would have had those pants done if it didn't look so hopeless but it really did.

mommydaycare 8 years, 6 months ago

so so true, it is a short day!!! Why?? Makes no sense, too cold for these kids to be out there. and once again, Lawrence is trying to prove a point, nothing new!! Same thing happens every year. What about all the kids that walk, and our infamous Walking School Bus???? Let's think about the kids first.

unklemonkey 8 years, 6 months ago

way to be a responsible school district, lawrence. especially with a -8 degree windchill and all..

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

Too bad all those kids who live 2.5 miles or less away will have to walk in a wind that is gusting up to more than 30 miles per hour and in a wind chill of 9 or 10 below!

Of course, I suppose the parents have the option to keep them home...

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

I think it's a little odd that Eudora and Baldwin both closed, but Lawrence is still open. Maybe Lawrence is the bermuda triangle of weather, or is it the windchill that made these schools decide to close?
This is the last day for a lot of classes at KU for the semester so I didn't see them making any decisions even though the wind chill is so low....wasn't it just 50+ last week?

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

It probably is the windchill and I suppose once you actually GET to the school, it's heated and kids can have inside recess.

So, I sort of see why Lawrence didn't close. I just feel for the kids who have to walk because they can't get driven for whatever reason.

Bobbi Walls 8 years, 6 months ago

my kids have to walk to trailers outside though to do their specials, like art and music, so they don't spend all day in the school itself.

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

My kid has class in a trailer so everything she has to do outside the classroom (lunch, specials, library) is a walk through the outside, so I totally get it.

Raider 8 years, 6 months ago

Those parents also have the option of getting off the couch and driving their kids to school too. The rest of us have to go to work today, so why should they close schools?

"GardenMomma (Anonymous) says… Too bad all those kids who live 2.5 miles or less away will have to walk in a wind that is gusting up to more than 30 miles per hour and in a wind chill of 9 or 10 below!

Of course, I suppose the parents have the option to keep them home…"

Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 6 months ago

Once again Lawrence gets the award for only school in session. Pretty sure its not safe for kids to be walking in this.

Uhjh 8 years, 6 months ago

Whoever makes the decision to close the Lawrence schools should have to walk to work today or stand around and wait for a bus.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 6 months ago


waswade 8 years, 6 months ago

dear parents, do what you have to even if it means leaving work early, let your employers complain to the superintendent. It's not the snow but the cold and wind that concern me enough to not take an infant out to walk to get my kids.

GardenMomma 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it's cold. Yes, kids will have to walk in bitter wind chills (some 2.5 miles, some 25 feet). Yes, all the other schools around are closed. Yes, my kids will go to school (all the while talking about forming a protest group or writing a petition). Yes, I will drive them and then pick them up 5 1/2 hours later. Yes, I will tell them to wear long sleeved clothes and bring a sweater or other jacket.

And, I'll probably have hot chocolate and cookies waiting for them after school. That's "dealing" with it.

When it snows 6 inches overnight and the roads aren't plowed then I hope schools close. I still feel bad for the ones who will have to walk today though.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

I know plenty of kids that are walking more than 100 yds or 30 min. just to get to school given how cold the windchill is it really is unsafe for them. I also know plenty of parents that have to be at school before their kids have to be at school so the kids have no choice but to walk not that there parents are to lazy to drive them as is implied but some on here.

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

Wonder how many of the people whining it is too cold to walk to school would be keeping their kiddos inside all day if they stayed home. Mine are already making plans for sledding this afternoon since the snow isn't good snowball fight consistency. Plus yes lawrence does have less snow on the ground than much of the surrounding area and we don't have a majority of kids on rural roads.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well I got one door open car warming up maybe the others will thaw out. Having been out there I will tell you it is to cold to let kids walk have layers on and still frozen the kids walking are going to be beyond frozen by the time they get to school. On a diffrent note hubby in trouble he did not clean off my van:)

Hilary Morton 8 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence is a much bigger district than our surrounding districts (Oskaloosa, McClouth, Eudora, DeSoto, et al.) When you see the KC area start to shut down, then you can look for Lawrence closings.

Apples and oranges, people. I'd love a snow day, personally, but other than that, it's really not too bad outside, you gotta admit.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

I disagree hilary it is brutal outside. Other doors still not opening dang it all to heck.

Kelly Johnson 8 years, 6 months ago

What difference does the size of the district make? Is it warmer because there are more children in USD 497?

Matt Needham 8 years, 6 months ago

The snow is maybe 1" deep. I'll be walking my kids to and from school as usual. Any parent who wants to can keep their kids home. You don't need the weatherman's permission. I'm glad mine are going to school. They'd just get bored at home, and I've got too much work to do.

GlobalCafe Lawrence 8 years, 6 months ago

I live across from Cordley and there is not a soul in sight. Not even the janitors truck and he is in at 5:30 every morning. Classes cancelled?

supernik 8 years, 6 months ago

i would have liked a snow day just so i had an excuse to stay in my nice warm bed!

Randall Barnes 8 years, 6 months ago


supernik 8 years, 6 months ago

Pywacket, my centaments exactly!!! who doesnt have a backup plan?

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

I trying to warm up my car really but it does not want to comply with my wishes darn car doors won't open snow won't get off windows, figure let the car do that for me since it won't open for me, and in general it is protesting this cold weather and windchill. Even my van says move to the tropics move to the tropics.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

I see a lot from the scared mommies about these poor poor children out walking in the snow. quit coddling your kids! you are turning them in to pansies. walking in cold, crappy weather builds character. If a few die off, they weren't very strong, and Darwin's theory gets another win.

Kent Shrack 8 years, 6 months ago

Up at 5, scooped the walks for 45 min. cleaned up and drove 45 miles to work and here by 7, When we do get real snow and they do call off school, the kids are out in it all day running and sledding. Life might get worse so we might think about preparing our kids to cope with less than ideal conditions. Hardly a bad day out there if you really think about it.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

Well good for you was out side for 10 min. dressed to live in alaska and I say it is to cold for kids to walk to school. The ptb should go walk from the farthest house away from the school that walks and see how they feel when they get to the school. As for the roads well do not know about major roads but I have been seeing everything going by my house slipping and spinning tires even the buses are having trouble. I know as the day goes on this will get better but still side roads are not that good.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

yes it is open I can now get on with freezing my but off yippie.

Michelle Hayes 8 years, 6 months ago

You can't please all the people all the time! People, just move on.
The only thing I would like to say a thank you to the school crossing guards who were out there this morning all bundled up...rain or shine or cold. Thank you for what you do!

Amy Heeter 8 years, 6 months ago

While parents are complaining about scraping windows you fail to see in the above article that senior meals are cancelled. Many elderly people depend on this daily meal.

skinny 8 years, 6 months ago

Wonder what they'll do when it really does snow?

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 6 months ago

Yup, if today's students have fought at the Battle of the Bulge, we would have had to just give up to the Germans. Too cold, and too much snow. No bus rides to town.

Good bye democracy. It's spring time for Hitler.

Kookamooka 8 years, 6 months ago

Lets make the kids deliever the meals. They'll be walking round on icy side walks anyway.

IMO 8 years, 6 months ago

This is where I am grateful for Lawrence Virtual School. Full day of quality school, through the district, no windchill risks, no bus waits. No reason to take a day off, but plenty of time to play in the snow when the day is done. Takes much less time to get all coursework done every single day. My children who were considered ADD risk have advanced beyond their grade level. Thank you so much LVS!

MrShades 8 years, 6 months ago

Well now I know why there are some many wusses in town, You, the parents, are the problem. Quick complaining about the school district, get up a little earlier and get it done. I tell you, it's the "Everyone gets a trophy" syndrome: Little Susie's team didn't win a game, but let's give them a trophy so we don't damage their precious self-esteem.

Life is gonna kick these kid's in the teeth, and you parent's are not preparing them for adult life. Sheesh, what a bunch of crybabies

Kookamooka 8 years, 6 months ago

BTW I think it's absolutely ridiculous to wait for KC to close its schools when the weather pattern can be completely different. I made it to KC on a good turnpike drive from Lawrence and the roads up here are much better. Lawrence was horrible. We are in a different "zone".

Remember, Ladies and Gentlemen, Desoto, Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and Lawrence all have brand spanking new superintendents. Many coming from rural school districts. They're probably excited that snow plows exist.

jonas_opines 8 years, 6 months ago

"Good bye democracy. It's spring time for Hitler."

The best part of this line is that it comes on the thread headlined: "Wednesday school closings, other cancellations."

Kevin Sontag 8 years, 6 months ago

Raider (Anonymous) says… Sheesh. You don't see businesses shutting down, and giving people snow days from work do you?

The LJWorld says... State government offices in Topeka - closed

Huh. How about that.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

Hey all you nimrods who are busting the chops of parents or "pansy raisers" as you want to call them - just because your parents didn't care you walked in a wind chill of below zero, don't blame them..... BTW, I grew up in Kansas and the only time we didn't go to school was when the school bus couldn't get through the drifts. I waited inside as long as I could and then sprinted the 200 yards to the bus stop. (raised by a single working parent so watched for the bus on my own since I was 9. I am not a wimp) And it's a short why not cancel school.....

LadyJ 8 years, 6 months ago

mommaeffortx2 -get a can of de-icer srpay and spray it in the crack of the door when it is frozen. Works great for me.

9070811 8 years, 6 months ago

Hilarious. USD 497 should remain open. Unlike Baldwin and Eudora, Lawrence is big town. A lot more happens here, the roads get cleared more quickly, etc. More traffic equals melting conditions from heat.

Today is just another day in Lawrence with snow. I don't understand why everyone is flipping shizz.

Wind chill = layers.
About those trailers...I had them too. It takes about 1 minute to go inside and out of them. Nice try on that one.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

on the up side it may be cold as all get out but at least the sun is out. Always makes lifts the soirit when the sun is out, october was gloomy enough for the year.

alm77 8 years, 6 months ago

This thread is hilarious! I'm with the "suck-it-up-and-stop-being-a-pansy crowd. I know this is getting to be my "thing", but I also noticed that those who are calling for the schools to be closed are the ones with the worst grammar. Not that there's a connection there or anything. ;)

"to" vs. "too" from

to = 1.(used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from): They came to the house. 2. (used for expressing direction or motion or direction toward something) in the direction of; toward: from north to south. 3. (used for expressing limit of movement or extension): He grew to six feet.

too = 1. in addition; also; furthermore; moreover: young, clever, and rich too. 2. to an excessive extent or degree; beyond what is desirable, fitting, or right: too sick to travel.

Maybe if we had less snow days more of us would know this.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

ladyj takes pre thought and I was on short supply of that yesterday so I waited and waited and waited. oh yeah and waited some more but the van lost the battle in the end:)

zettapixel 8 years, 6 months ago

I was out shoveling snow in a short sleeve shirt. Cold is all a state of mind.

Kat Christian 8 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence people need to know schools are closed before they have to leave for work so they can arrange daycare. Jobs don't care if the school announces late. However, I made my own decision and kept my kid home. I'm no fool I can see the condition of the roads on the webcam and there is no way I'm driving anywhere today. Thanks school district for being so supportive of parents who have to go to work.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 6 months ago

That's what my mom always did. If we stayed home it was on us to make up missed work. Sometimes we picked a topic and wrote a report.

bendover61 8 years, 6 months ago

The Lawrence teachers union has let the teachers down, they can't get them the day off.

LadyJ 8 years, 6 months ago

A cold snowy day is much easier to face once the sun is up, it looks quite different than at 6 a.m. I do wish the police would stop and ticket people who don't even make an attempt to clear the snow off their back window and have only half of the front windshield scraped. I know they're busy with accidents, but they could look at it as preventing accidents. Parents, it is your responsibility to see that your child's car does not leave the house till they're windows are clear. How would you feel if they hit a pedestrian or had a serious accident. Some do not have the maturity to make that responsible decision so you need to see that they do.

Laura Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

When did it become policy here to close school when it's COLD? Not when I was a kid! I don't get it. I park a half block from my office and, yes, it was bitterly cold this morning, but I hoofed it over to work. If your kids usually walk and you think it's too cold, keep them home, drive them yourself, arrange a car pool with some parents who don't have to get to work before school starts.

These are your kids, not the school districts. You chose to have them; learn to make acomodations for them!

jimmyjms 8 years, 6 months ago

At 8 this morning, a lot of the major roads in town had not been plowed - 6th at Tennessee, 9th at Iowa, portions of Clinton pkway.

zettapixel 8 years, 6 months ago

cait48... I am not a polar bear, but I'm built like one! LOL

devilsrighthandman 8 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps the LPD should be on the lookout for sledders on days where school is not cancelled? Truency? Wait no. Mommy called in and said I didn't have to go today becasue it was so cold. Does this logic make any sense?

Kelly Johnson 8 years, 6 months ago

I hope there's a story soon on the car that had gone off the road down into a ravine off of Inverness between Bob Billings & Clinton Pkwy. I saw the tow truck trying to get it back out. 6 News crew was there, too.

If my van actually had working heat, it would have made my morning a lot nicer. But groceries keep winning out over heater repairs in the budget battle, so we'll keep bundling up in the car. I will probably have the $ to fix it around the time temps start warming up in the spring, when I won't need it anyway lol!

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well devil veritas is closed so what you gonna do? So school policy says that if it is 15 or lower with wind chill it is to cold for kids to be outside for even 15 min. recess but the powers that be said it was ok for those kids to walk to school in windchills -8 this am and I know some of those kids have to walk at least 30min to get to school. Is it me or is that just contradictory?

devilsrighthandman 8 years, 6 months ago

momma, I was making light of the kids that are allowed to stay home when school in not cancelled because it was too cold, yet there are pictures of kids sledding and out in the yard playing when they should have been in school with the rest. I know this does not pertain to everyone, but there does seem to be a large majority. If the schools do determine that it is in fact too cold to have everyone work ect... then fine. Otherwise, teach the kids to get to work when there is work to be done, not to "call in" when the big bad Kansas snow storm dumps 2" and is below zero.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 6 months ago

If you are cancelling school with -8 wind chill that has to be 5-10 days a year, not counting the last two years.

KaraGourley 8 years, 6 months ago

I realize it's COLD.. who wants to be out in it.. but the roads are not bad.. people just need to use common sense when driving...

There really was NO reason for them to close school today. I grew up here.. They close school more often now days than they ever did.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

My kids are anything but soft, well maybe the youngest but she is the baby 11 years younger than the next oldest and there is no way I would have let them walk to school this morning. And really the policy at school says no outside when it is 15 degrees or below with the wind chill? There are plenty of kids that have to walk no other choice only way to get to school some of those kids need to walk for 30 min. or so did the district not think about these kids? Yes parents have the choice to keep kids home but then they are unexused from school some teachers in the jr highs and highschools do not let your kids make up unexcused work so then what? When my older kids where in elem. we had some bad cold weather like this and school was not cancelled, there was one kid that had to walk to school lived one block short of the bus line one block over and a bus would have picked him up but you know that one block makes a big diffrence, well this kid is walking to school and is almost there when he just gives up, then his teacher is driving by and sees him thank goodness and picks him up, he ended up in the hospital due to hyperthermia, so is it really worth the risk? If you say yes you don't have kids.

Sean Livingstone 8 years, 6 months ago

Those without kids will never understand, and those with kids but only one parent working, will also never understand...

zettapixel 8 years, 6 months ago

What about those that have kids, have both parents working, and still don't understand? If you're a household with two working parents, you just figure out a way to make things work.

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