AHS Implements Delayed Start for Winter Conditions


A winter day at Aspen School District during October 2021.

When it comes to large amounts of snowfall and icy road conditions, snow days are all the Aspen School District has ever known. For the first time ever, ASD joined schools around the country in delayed starts as opposed to snow days.

On February 24, the Aspen School District had its first delayed start. ASD has a limited amount of allowed days off from school without extending school days into our summer break, which includes snow days. Delayed starts have been put into place as a consideration of how the morning commute to school is dangerous when there are difficult road conditions, especially coming from down valley. Delayed starts take educational time into consideration when the weather forecast is scheduled to improve throughout the day.

In a February 2 District Communication, delayed starts were first reported as a new addition to our district. The communication specified that if there is a delayed start, it will be either a 1-hour or a 2-hour delay. The newsletter stated that for the 1-hour delayed start, the school day will start at 9 a.m. for AES and 9:45 at AMS and AHS, and for the 2-hour delayed start, the school day will start at 10 a.m. for AES and 10:45 at AMS and AHS. The school day will end at the same usual time, 3:00 p.m. for AES, 3:45 for the AMS and AHS.

While a delayed start would keep the last three periods of the day the same, as well as lunch, it cuts out class time from the first period of the day. This disrupts teachers’ lesson plans. Putting teachers aside, not every student is supportive of this decision. Julia Diaz, a freshman at AHS, has mixed feelings, but understands the motivation behind it.

“I don’t really like delayed starts that much, I feel like they disrupt my schedule. Not having as much as a first class is annoying to me as well as the teacher,” Diaz said.

When it comes to the schedule, Diaz does not agree with the delayed starts. That being said, she believes it is worth it when it comes to the cost of adding an extra day.

“I think the benefits do outweigh the costs. It is annoying, but I can deal with it. I would rather have a delayed start than an extra day at the end of the school year,” Diaz said.