Education

That 5 a.m. wake-up call from Wake County schools left some people quite grumpy

School buses run routes along Raleigh Boulevard in January 2018 in Raleigh. Wake County schools started classes late on Tuesday “due to the possibility of icy road conditions,” the district said.
School buses run routes along Raleigh Boulevard in January 2018 in Raleigh. Wake County schools started classes late on Tuesday “due to the possibility of icy road conditions,” the district said. tlong@newsobserver.com

Students and parents were all atwitter after their early-morning wake-up call to let them know Wake County schools were delayed two hours Tuesday.

The school system called and texted families at 5 a.m. Tuesday to tell them all schools were on a two-hour delay “due to the possibility of icy road conditions in the morning.”

Students and parents – as usual – took to Twitter to express their frustrations. Some complained about the early phone call, and some complained about the late notice.

Even some teachers were taken by surprise.

“Apparently I am the only one in @WCPSS who was unaware that we had a delay today. Awesome. Crickets around here,” wrote Brian Yerger on Twitter, who teaches AP U.S. History and American history at Cary High School. He tweeted a picture of his empty classroom.

Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman, said district staff made the call so early so students who leave for the bus stop at 5:15 a.m. (and bus drivers assigned to those routes) would have enough notice. Luten said there wasn’t enough information Monday night to make a decision about whether to delay school.

“When you make a decision to change the schedule of school, it is a permanent decision,” she said. “You can’t back out of canceling school if the forecast changes.”

Wake decides whether to delay or cancel school by 11 p.m. the night before or 5 a.m. the morning of potential inclement weather.

Families can change their notification preferences by visiting www.wcpss.net/schoolmessenger. If you want to add a phone number, you must contact your family’s school, Luten said.

Once your number is in the system, you can visit the School Messenger site to select whether you want to receive texts, phone calls or emails. (For emergency calls, like Tuesday’s two-hour delay, the district will call at least one phone number, Luten said.)

Some students, of course, were thrilled.

And others gained a little perspective.

Pressley Baird: 919-829-8935, @pressleybaird

  Comments