From Superintendent Joel Mengerink:
We all know that last winter was very challenging. As we prepare for the snow and ice challenges that will confront us, I wanted to explain how the decision is made to delay and/or cancel school.
More times than not, we are aware of impending snowfall and are able to begin planning. During these events, I am in constant communication with our neighboring districts’ superintendents. We discuss the conditions we are seeing on the roadways, sometimes the locations of plows (if they are out), and what each of us are thinking for the day. I appreciate the input that each superintendent provides during this process. Generally, we are all on the road checking conditions by 5:15-5:30 am during these events. Additionally, someone from our group is in communication with Sheriff Chandler if there is a question regarding snow emergency levels in the county.
Each storm is unique – beginning and ending at different times, and putting down different types and amounts of precipitation so there is no cookie cutter formula that can be used to make a decision. Sometimes, snow/ice events sneak up on forecasters or hit shortly after the buses have left the school. While these situations are unfortunate and challenging, our drivers do a great job of making sure to look out for the safety of all students. If we are 100% certain we are going to be delayed or cancelled the next day, we will make that announcement the prior evening. However, sometimes it is necessary to hold out and make sure we are getting the weather that the forecasters are calling for.
In any case, the decision to delay school, cancel school, go to school on time, or even dismiss early is very carefully considered. With that being said, we do live in the snowbelt so there is an expectation for people who live in this area to be able to drive with snow and ice present on the roadways. Slowing down is the key to safe driving in these conditions. Most incidents that occur can be alleviated by simply slowing down. We do ask that you please leave plenty of room between your vehicle and a stopped school bus.
When it comes to extreme wind chills, we do not expect students to necessarily be waiting outside for the bus. We do, however, expect to see students walking outdoors immediately upon the bus’ arrival.