January 29, 2014

The Anatomy of a School Closing

Decisions, decisions …

We haven't had a day of school since last Thursday. It's like a whole new winter vacation. The snow hasn't stopped but neither has the cold. It's a bit warmer today (just a dozen degrees below zero, according the wind chill) but the roads are impassable.

Monday and Tuesday were no brainers. Today, really, was a no brainer, as well. The reason it was a tough decision is that it would become the fourth day in a row with no school. Superintendents talk and share thoughts about many things. We have had many discussions this week about the weather. We watch the news and weather reports. We always try to err on the side of caution. The idea of safety is one we take seriously. 

After hearing from many students and teachers last night, I knew that the roads were in bad shape. I had driven some roads yesterday and knew that if the wind continued we would have some roads in bad shape. 

Panic Sets In

Lori woke me up at about 4:55 this morning and said, "Looks like we're having school." 

I said, "I guess so. What time is it?" 

She said, "Almost five." 

I had a moment of panic: "I better check my phone to see if I missed any calls."


As I sat my phone back down, it rang. 

Tim, my road checker, said it was bad. "Not a good morning in Buckley," he said. 

I called some other superintendents and texted some others. Everyone was hearing the same thing. Roads bad. Impassable at places. Windy. Cold. We went back and fourth and discussed the reasons for closing or staying open. We knew the right thing to do …

If we hadn't been closed for three days already — today would be a no brainer. 

So, we closed school for the fourth day in a row — six if you count the week–end! 

Be safe. Stay warm. 


Anonymous said...

love this - thanks for writing! You're absolutely right - thanks for keeping kids safe!

Your Favorite Cousin said...

Thanks for thinking of the kids and bus driver's. Parents who complain, well it is not all that fun to entertain a house full of restlessness, but after all we ARE their parents right? Isn't it our job to take care of them when it is not safe for them to go to school...However, Rick, can you take some of my snow..up there please!

Anonymous said...

After driving on county road 633 this morning I can say you made the right call! Close to one lane in places and zero visibility (as in ZERO visibility). Thank you for keeping us safe.