TEXT ALERT PROCEDURE
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a friendly reminder from the Superintendent.....
I want to share with you some of the factors that go in to making the decision on school delays and closings. The past two winters have been particularly brutal. Surrounding districts often align with our decision due to similar decision processes, but there are sometimes unique factors or district traits that impact our decision and can cause a different action than districts around us.
Road conditions are obviously a critical factor. I drive the roads on days when weather is a factor. I am usually out by 5:00 a.m. I look at the weather forecast and radar as well as any reports coming from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. The amount and type of snow will determine whether or not we can have parking lots cleared and the county crews will have roadways passable. One thing we all need to consider is that we do live in Ohio and there will be days when our student drivers will need to exercise winter driving skills to get to school. If you think your child is too inexperienced to drive on a particular day, you can always elect to have them ride the schools bus. Our drivers are trained to drive in winter weather and have an excellent safety record. As in the past, I will keep our children’s safety in mind with every decision.
Fog is often a factor. With the new hours accounting system for schools in Ohio, I will be utilizing the three-hour delay with no extension on any day the fog holds on past 7:45 a.m. There are often varying degrees of fog and making this decision is not an exact science. Due to driver reporting times, I always try to make the delay decision before 5:45 a.m. and any extended delay or cancellation decision before 7:45 a.m.
Cold has become a consideration, but I can tell you that this is a relatively new process and somewhat controversial among decision-makers. I know most adults can remember waiting for the bus as a child with all the typical winter apparel on some very cold days. The only time cold impacted a school decision was when the diesel fuel was too thick for the buses to start and that usually just meant late buses. Regardless, the past two winters have caused us to at least consider the cold so I have developed a guideline that I will try to use. A wind chill warning goes into effect at -25 degrees wind chill. Obviously, the wind chill varies from location to location, but generally, if there is a warning, I will delay to allow for sunlight and less traffic on the roads as we load buses. Should the wind chill remain at that level, I will consider all conditions before making the decision to extend the delay or eventually cancel. Please be prepared with appropriate apparel for your children on cold days. I know the children in Minnesota operate under a very different climate knowing they must make it to school in some very cold temperatures. I think we can too.
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