GRAFTON,Mass.—The two-hour delay in Grafton schools Monday came late to many homes -- and, in some areas, the school buses were already picking up Grafton High School and Grafton Middle School students.
For students at Millbury Street Elementary, their day starts at 8:15 a.m., but the automated call to parents didn't arrive till 7:30 a.m.
One parent, Richard Quist, sent an angry e-mail to Dr. James Cummings, the Superintendent of Grafton Public Schools.
“Our children's school bus driver got the call just after they had gotten onto the bus at the top of our hill,” he said. “I can't imagine what the parents who had already left for work after their children had gotten onto the bus must be feeling, and how difficult it must be for them.”
"Until about 6 a.m. we intended to start school on time," Cummings wrote in a newsletter to parents. He said the highway department had salted the roads, but that more freezing rain followed.
"This refreezing led to the late change in plans and a delay was called. I apologize for the late notice and inconvenience that was caused," he said.
On the Grafton Daily Voice's Facebook page, other parents were as equally frustrated.
“There was a call to my house 1 hr AFTER my daughter left for school. How are they going to keep my child safe when they can't get delays in school correct?” said Donna Alberto Revellese.
Many local news stations, such as WCVB Channel 5 and WBZ Channel 4 were also not announcing the delay until after some students had boarded their buses. Tracy McKinney O’Donnell posted on Facebook that the Boston school stations had not reported the school delay as late as 8:14 a.m.
A spokesperson for AA Transportation, the bus company that is under contract with the school district, was unavailable for comment.
One school bus driver, who was parked on the side of Milford Road riding out the delay, said calls to drivers were coming in late and that although sand trucks were out last night, the secondary roads were still icy. “When the calls come in late,” he said, “this is what happens.”