Students showed up despite bad weather (con't)

But he said board officials deemed the weather “bad” but not extreme and students had the option of whether to go to school and wouldn’t be penalized if they didn’t. 

Scantlebury said this had nothing to do with union contracts. 

He said students who didn’t show up would be given a “grant” day of simply a pass.

 So how many students actually showed-up? 

The figures might be more surprising than you think.

 There was a low of five per cent attendance at Mount Carmel Blytheswood school to 62 per cent at Victoria Public School in Tecumseh and 56 per cent at Hugh Beaton.

 All are elementary schools.

 This was on Monday the worst day of severe weather.

 Scantlebury said buses didn’t run in both city and county on Monday and Tuesday and didn’t run only in the county on Wednesday.

 He said of 34,000 students some 18,000 do not take buses to school. 

He said those who missed classes weren’t missing essential new teaching.

 “No new lessons” are addressed on such days.

Catholic board spokeswoman Sherrilyn Colley-Vegh said there has only been one “state of emergency” she recalls in the 1980s when civic authorities deemed the weather so bad that schools closed.

 She said the board “probably gets more” complaints if schools had been closed.

 By keeping schools open it gives parents the option to send kids to school or have them stay home. 

If schools close parents may not have provided alternate child care.

And there’s the “safety” and “liability” issues should a child be dropped off at a school, the school is closed, and the student stranded outside in bad weather.

Colley-Vegh also said some people think boards are paid from the province on the basis of how many days they're open when in fact they're paid by the number of pupils enrolled, a formula changed many years ago. 

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