To help give parents and community members a better perspective, Superintendent Daniel Nerad used the social media platform to explain the decision-making process he's had to implement in declaring five snow days since the beginning of the year.
"Student safety is our top priority and this is the number one consideration point in all school closings," he wrote.
Decisions, DecisionsNerad explained several factors that aid his decision to keep buildings open or closed, including:
- Travel conditions from our Transportation department,
- Temperature and wind chill factors from local meteorologists
- Snow accumulations
- Parking lot conditions
Wind chill and potentially dangerous, sub-zero temperatures were the deciding factors in his decision about Tuesday, and other snow days this year.
The state allows for 30 hours of weather-related school closings, but with potentially 6-8 more weeks of winter left, make-up time may be necessary.
"We are now at the critical point where missing school has resulted in us exceeding this limit," he wrote. The state has changed the requirements in the past, but district officials won't know if that will happen this year until spring. They, and parents, will have to wait and see.
One thing parents can plan on, Nerad said, will be no changes to scheduled mid-winter and spring breaks.
ReactionsNerad's post prompted a variety of responses on the district's Facebook page.
"Kids need to be in school learning," wrote Jennifer Duval. "I understand that buses may not work in this weather so call no bus service and have parents drive in instead."
"Have a plan B rather then just closing," Missy Page Hoover wrote. "Give us the option to drive our kids to school! We are teaching our children to just give up without a solution."
Others shared their support for Nerad's decision and shared personal stories.
"I don't enjoy missing school nor do I think we should make it hard on the students," wrote Lisa Ashlin, a teacher. " However, the reality is that many students are not clothed properly for the weather. I have students whose parents struggle to provide them with coats let alone hats."
"As someone who suffered frostbite as a child and is paying the price now, I am relieved our schools are closed today," Sara Kanter Brenz wrote. "BPS obviously doesn't just jump on the bandwagon, rather they carefully consider the risks."
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