DODGE CITY, Kansas — Some Dodge City public schools closed when they lost power this morning.
Of the fourteen public schools in Dodge City, three lost power Thursday morning when wind gusts came through around 7:30 a.m. so Superintendent Allen Cunningham made the decision to send the kids home for safety reasons.
“It’s such a balance of safety, you don’t want kids out on the roads because it’s unsafe. You don’t want them in a building without heat,” said Kelly Bolin, Principal at Beeson Elementary.
The buses carrying the high school students just turned around but the two elementary schools were a different matter.
“The high school students can pretty much take care of themselves if they get home and are by themselves that’s not as big of an issue as sending five-year-olds through ten-year-olds back home,” said Cunningham.
When the power went out one of the main concerns was how they would feed all these children without any electricity. Luckily generators and the staff came through for the kids.
Contacting parents ended up being the hardest part of the day.
“One of the biggest problems we had was probably 25 percent of the folks we called, the numbers they had listed with the school district were no longer working,” said Cunningham.
But the teachers and staff did their best with what they had, setting up research stations and cross checking emergency contacts before releasing kids.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with how the staff both in the buildings and the transportation staff handled it. They worked over and above,” said Cunningham.
It took Beeson Elementary nearly two hours to contact the parents of 250 kids but all three schools report all kids made it home safely.