Maize, Kan. -- The Maize school district stood out like an island surrounded by districts calling off classes Monday due to snow and cold.
Talking about the decision making process, Maize Superintendent Doug Powers says, "I think it's one of the more difficult decisions that we make."
Area districts including Augusta, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Mulvane, Valley Center, Wichita and more called off Monday's school.
Powers says, "We were concerned about the cold temperatures. But at looking at today's forecast we knew the day was going to warm up and turn out to be a fairly sunny day."
He says,"We simply looked at our conditions in our 42 square miles of Maize and we felt like we were in a spot where we could go ahead and have school today and do it safely."
Powers says he knows he's not going to make everyone happy no matter what decision he makes. "What I have heard is about 50/50. Folks who were happy we had school and folks who were unhappy that we had school."
One of those who wished his three Maize children were at home Monday is Craig Farney. Farney says, "We were pretty frustrated. We thought it was really cold this morning and weren't excited about our kids getting out in the sub-zero temperature. I don't understand why they didn't just call it off when all the other schools did."
On the other side, Stacy Woodard is one who is happy with the decision saying, "I think it makes sense. And actually anybody that it doesn't work for you always have the option to keep your kids home."
Woodard was waiting at the bus stop to pick up her five year old daughter Heidi from kindergarten.
As Heidi steps off the bus mom is there to greet her and remind her to put her coat on. Then mom asks, "Was everyone at school today, Heidi? Nope. No. Who was missing out of your class?"
Heidi couldn't think of who was gone but recognized empty chairs. Maize spokeswoman Lori O'Toole Buselt says there was a 20% absentee rate Monday compared to a 5% normal absentee rate. She says those can be excused absences for the weather.
Superintendent Powers says any day called off would be made up by extending the school year. Although he says that was a consideration, it wasn't the reason school stayed in session.
Powers says students arrived to school without incident. "I do feel it was safe today."