While we have had a mild winter so far this year, the time will soon come when I will need to consider whether or not to cancel or delay school due to inclement weather. School days may be canceled or delayed for a variety of weather related events. When winter weather is expected, several members of our team drive our most challenging roads to monitor and make determinations about the ability of our buses to safely transport students to/from school. Sometimes this is a very difficult call. In addition to the current road conditions, we have to take into account the timing of the weather event and how continued snow or freezing rain will impact travel conditions.
Wind chill and extremely cold temperatures are also cause for decisions to be made. School delays or cancellations may be called when ambient temperature and/or wind chill consistently stays at -10 degrees F or below for several hours during typical bus pickup/school hours of operations.
Generally, the National Weather Service will issue a Wind Chill Advisory or a Wind Chill Warning when this occurs. Some discretion may be used in determining what to do because Advisories may be called at -5 degrees F.
If we must cancel school, the first five days will be forgiven. For days six through 10, there have already been dates built into the school calendar. Should more than 11 days be missed, the board of education will adopt a plan to make up the missed class time, however this typically requires days to be added at the end of the school year in May/June.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we start into this winter season.
Superintendent, Athens City School District