Most metro students to stay home Thursday

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Tens of thousands of students from nearly every major district in the Kansas City Metro will spend a third day home from school on Thursday; kept from classes by a major winter storm that dumped 10 inches of snow on Tuesday and left dangerous, icy roads and bitter cold in its wake.

Lee's Summit was one of the first districts to cancel classes on Thursday due to weather. Independence and Park Hill soon followed suit.

"We look at the whole picture and make a decision about what-- can we safely transport students to school," Park Hill Communications Director Nicole Kirby said.

On the Kansas side of the state line, Olathe, the metro's largest district by student count will remain closed again Thursday; so too with Shawnee Mission and its 27,000 students.

"We recognize that these decisions impact families, so they are made with careful consideration," Shawnee Mission Spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal said in a statement. "Ultimately, the decision is made with the safety of students as the top priority."

Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., public schools will also be closed on Thursday and Friday for planned parent-teacher conferences, not for weather.

In Lee's Summit, the parents of 17-year-old Sarah Spencer applauded the district's safety-first policy. Their daughter drives herself to school and her parents said they'd rather all be bored and cooped up at home than taking chances on icy roads.

For her part, Sarah said she was looking forward to getting back into the classroom as soon as possible.

"I'm pretty ready to go back. The sooner we get back, the better it will be for me," she said Wednesday. "I'm getting kind of cabin fever from this."

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