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Icy Roads Lead to Confusion About School and Bus Delays in Missoula [AUDIO]

School Bus on Icy Road
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Early on Thursday morning, February 13, media received word that schools and bus services all over western Montana had been delayed by two hours.

There were some unconfirmed reports that Missoula District One schools had also been delayed, however, according to MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman, that was not the case.

“Schools in district one follow the procedure of having recommendations come into the superintendent’s office early in the morning, and our goal is always to make a decision on school delays or closures by 5:45 in the morning,” Littman said. “We do that to make sure that we have enough time to alert parents and the media, so they can make accurate and appropriate decision for the rest of their day.”

Littman said what Thursday morning was an anomaly.

“Today, we had some road conditions change on us during the morning bus route,” Littman said. “There was some concern about delays and some concern about safety. We also had some other school districts within Missoula County go ahead and make a decision to delay their start time. However, at no point did Missoula County Public School delay our start time. There was some chatter out in the community and some misinformation got out there and people had the wrong information.”

A dispatcher at Beach Transportation said there was originally going to be a two hour delay in bus service, but as conditions improved, the delay was cut to only about 20 minutes.

Littman said the best, most efficient way to determine if Missoula schools are delayed or cancelled, is to monitor the MCPS website.

“The best way to find out is to check our website, as well as to check our Missoula County Public Schools Facebook page, and that will always have accurate and up-to-date information about school delays or closures,” Littman said.

MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman

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