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Weather Delays

 

 

WINTER WEATHER & SCHOOL

Wintertime brings the possibility of snow & school cancellations! There are a lot of factors that go into making the decision of whether or not to have school, but student safety is the #1 concern for Warren County Public Schools. Those decisions become much more difficult to make when you’re dealing with a large district with hundreds of miles of backroads that don’t receive sun, salt, or a plow. 

When inclement weather happens, please be patient & stay tuned to the local media for information. 

Click HERE for School Closings

 

Below is some information  and FAQ's for you regarding snow cancellations:

 

Any Superintendent or Transportation Director will tell you that one of his/her most difficult decisions is whether to close, delay, or open school on days of inclement weather. It is difficult because they must decide on the probability of

safety to transport students. The process begins at 4:00 a.m. with several district personnel and weather spotters who are located in various parts of the county traveling many of the district roads checking road conditions. During this time we are in constant contact with Bowling Green officials, the various law enforcement agencies and News 13 for the latest update on the weather. We strive to make our decision no later than 5:30 a.m. since we must inform our district employees, as well as parents and students.

 

Since we desire to make a decision by 5:30 a.m., there may be a need to revise the decision later in the morning because of a change in storm conditions. It is important for parents to continue to check television and radio stations after the initial announcement, in the event weather conditions dictate a change. Certainly, we realize that the decision is subject to second-guessing, but please realize that our decision is made solely on the safety of our children.

 

WHAT FACTORS GO INTO MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOLS?

 

• Weather forecasts from radio and television stations

  1. School district, Kentucky Department of Transportation, and various Police      assessment of road conditions

• School district's assessment of school parking and accessibility of buildings

• Time snow is expected to start and end

• Amount of snow accumulated and predicted

  1. Expected impact on traffic

  2. Weather conditions expected after the snow
     

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WEATHER BECOMES SEVERE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY:

 

It may become necessary to dismiss students one or two hours earlier than normal. Information on road conditions is received from the Department of Transportation and Kentucky State Police to determine the best time for dismissal.

 

HOW CAN PARENTS BE READY: 

 

Parents should be prepared for an early dismissal by having identified a

procedure for their child to follow in the case of an early dismissal. In the case of an early dismissal, it is requested that parents not drive to school to pick up children who normally ride the school buses. The additional traffic this creates around the schools and on local roads only makes the safe transportation of students to their homes more difficult. 

 

EMERGENCY CLOSING/DELAY INFORMATION SOURCES
 

WBKO-TV (13) WZTV (17) WTVF-TV (5)

WSM-TV (4) WKRN-TV (2) WBGN-RADIO

WBVR-RADIO WCLU-RADIO WCVK-RADIO

WGGC-RADIO WKCT-RADIO WKLX-RADIO

WKYU-RADIO WPTQ-RADIO WSM-RADIO

 

Parents and students should not telephone the schools or the district office for information pertaining to the operation of schools on these days. These calls can delay proper notification of the school staff and public, and can interfere with the handling of school operations. The announcement of school closing and/or delay is made on most of the local television and radio stations as soon as possible. Hopefully, this article provides you with relevant information and allows you to better understand the process.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

the Warren County Schools Transportation Department at 842-8311.

 

John W. Odom

Director of Transportation

Warren County Schools

 

 How do school officials determine school closures for inclement weather?

 

More than 20 members of the Transportation Department, known as “spotters,” monitor the conditions of county roads by driving them multiple times. The spotters are experienced bus drivers. The Director of Transportation and the Superintendent also inspect roads in the county. Officials are in contact with the National Weather Service, the Kentucky State Police, local meteorologists, and the Highway Department to make an informed decision about closing schools. The decision is made conservatively to ensure student safety

 

Why doesn’t  Warren County Schools operate on a delayed start time during times of inclement weather?

 

The Warren County school district has over 200 bus routes that cover 500 square miles and travel more than 14,000 miles daily.

 

The district uses two main bus routes: one for elementary school children and one for middle and high school children. The two routes require use of the same buses at different times of the day. Because buses are double-routed to keep our high school and elementary students separated, total delivery time prohibits a delayed start time.

 

Another consideration with a delayed start is the assumption that the weather will clear by the later starting time.  If the weather has not improved, or has worsened, parents have already dropped their children at school and have gone to work. Transporting the children back to an empty house becomes an issue.

 

 

Why not snow routes?

 

A snow route is an alternative transportation route that includes picking children up at designated locations around main roads, rather than picking them up from their individual homes.

 

The challenge in implementing such routes is supervision of students on busy main roads while waiting for buses.  There is also concern as to whether parents can pick up children at the designated time and place of the snow route bus stop. Again, the safety of children is of primary interest.

 

Why doesn’t Warren County close schools in parts of the county and allow other schools to open?

 

The Kentucky Department of Education requires 177 instructional days for all students.  The district is required to submit an annual calendar.  The district requires all schools to abide by the same calendar.

 

Why do Warren County Public School officials wait until 5:00 A.M. to call off school?

 

Keeping schools open is a priority for the district; however, student safety is always a top consideration. Some weather calls are obvious, such as when there are inches of snow on the ground the night before. At other times, officials want to allow time to see if the weather clears.

 

If the weather forecast is marginal, officials wait until the approximate time when buses begin routes to make a decision. This means spotters and school officials drive roads in the early morning to get a feel for road conditions at 5:00 A.M. If they think the roads are safe, there will be school. If not, school is cancelled at 5:00 A.M.

 

Is there a chance we could add time to the current school day in an effort to make up some of the lost time?

 

All Kentucky schools are required to go to school 177 days, totaling 1,062 instructional hours. Any district wishing to bank time in an effort to have fewer days had to request that alternative calendar prior to 2007. Warren County did not make that request.

 

What happens in the weather becomes severe during the school day?

 

It may become necessary to dismiss students one or two hours earlier than normal, in the case of severe weather. Information on road conditions is received from the Department of Transportation and the Kentucky State Police to determine the best time for early dismissal.

 

How can parents be ready?

 

Parents can prepare for an early dismissal by establishing a procedure for children to follow.  It is important that parents have a back-up transportation plan in case of an early dismissal. Communicate the plan to the child and school officials.

 


EMERGENCY CLOSING/DELAY INFORMATION SOURCES
WBKO-TV (13) WZTV (17) WTVF-TV (5)
WSM-TV (4) WKRN-TV (2) WBGN-RADIO
WBVR-RADIO WCLU-RADIO WCVK-RADIO
WGGC-RADIO WKCT-RADIO WKLX-RADIO
WKYU-RADIO WPTQ-RADIO WSM-RADIO