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Surrey schools remain open while neighbouring cities’ students enjoy a snow day

Decision of whether to send kids to class remains with parents, says district rep
(Surrey Schools photo)

Surrey school district has opted to leave schools open today (Wednesday, Nov. 30) despite the snow from last night’s storm – a decision which has some residents taking to social media to voice concerns about safety.

However, the district says the decision of whether to send a child to school ultimately rests with parents.

After a chaos-filled evening commute, many residents across the Lower Mainland woke up to news of school closures, but that was not the case in the Surrey school district.

Schools were closed in Langley, Chilliwack, Hope, Abbotsford and Maple Ridge.

READ MORE: School closures, car crashes, power outages: Lower Mainland sees aftermath of snow storm

Kwantlen Polytechnic University also cancelled all in-person classes for its campuses, including in Surrey.

According to several replies on Twitter under the district’s news of schools remaining open, parents with students at Coast Salish Secondary were alerted with a message that reads:

“Please be aware that there are no cleared sidewalks on the way to school. It is very dangerous please be careful driving to and from school. Students be careful walking.”

In an update, Supt. Mark Pearmain shared progress on cleaning roads at some schools in the district.

The district stated that it worked in collaboration with the RCMP and district facility staff to check the roads before making the call to keep schools open, in addition to cleaning the parking lots of schools this morning.

“There’s a lot of parents that rely on schools to be open and so at the district, we balance the needs of our whole community,” said Ritinder Matthew, communications director at Surrey Schools.

“Parents have the option to stay home so if they feel it is not safe for their children, they can make that decision but for our school district, we really need to balance the needs of every parent. Not every parent can work from home today.”

Absences for the day from all 130 schools in the Surrey school district will not be available until Thursday morning, the district confirmed.

Matthew also encouraged all staff and parents to reach out to principals and the district if they have concerns about their commute to school.

Surrey Schools has a list of protocols for snowy weather, which can be found in several languages here.


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Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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