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School Districts Face Tough Decision About Class Status During Snowstorm

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- The decision will almost always fail to please everyone. When snow is in the forecast school districts have to prepare to make a critical choice: cancel school, late start, early dismissal, attend as scheduled, decide about after-school activities?

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Adventure Elementary School (credit: CBS)

At the Adventure Elementary School in the Mapleton District located north of Denver, the adventure on Tuesday was early release. That meant getting the crossing guards in place, making sure the buses were there and notifying parents to pick up their children.

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Haly Mitchell was able to leave work on Tuesday, but wonders about tomorrow.

RELATED: Many Denver Metro Area Schools Closing Early Tuesday With More Snow Expected

"I still have to go to work so I guess the girls will just stay home from school," she said.

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Mitchell has three children who attend the school.

The decision to close doesn't come lightly.

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Mapleton School District (credit: CBS)

Mike Crawford is the deputy superintendent of the Mapleton School District. He and others were keeping a close eye on the local forecasts which predicted more and heavier snow coming later in the day.

So, they made the decision for an early release, two hours ahead of dismissal.

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CBS4's Rick Sallinger interviews Mike Crawford (credit: CBS)

"We decided we had an opportunity to get buses out ahead of rush hour this afternoon, get them home safely, so we started planning for that," said Crawford.

RELATED: Colorado School Closings - See our full list of closures, delays and early releases

At 1:10 p.m. the students came out the door. One child running never seemed so glad to see a school bus.

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CBS4'S Rick Sallinger asked Crawford, "Have you had many kids complaining about getting out early?"

He replied with a laugh, "I'm not sure we've had many complaints from students about getting out early today."

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One student walked by with his mother and was heard saying, "I'm glad we're getting out early."

His mother wasn't as pleased, "No, they could have stayed in school, this is Colorado, they have to get used to this."

Denver Public Schools spokesman Will Jones says they won't leave the children out in the cold if they close early.

"Parents don't have to worry about teachers and educators locking the building and going home and leaving their kids outside. We're going to make sure every kid goes home safely before we go home."

Barbie Smith, a mother of five with four children in school at Denver's Greenlee Elementary, received an alert that she would need to pick them up at 2 p.m. School normally gets out at 3:15.

"I think they shouldn't  have even sent them today I mean the weather was crazy and the streets sure aren't plowed so Denver needs to get on that," said Smith.

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