My friends and family in the lower 48 are often bewildered when I tell them we canceled school because it warmed up! Come to think of it, some people in the Copper Valley are confused when we cancel school and it is only 34 degrees ABOVE zero. Whether it warms up or gets really cold, it is time for us all to start thinking about the possibility of weather related school closures.
The CRSD contracts with First Student, a national bus service company. According to our contact, they are responsible for safely transporting students to and from school everyday. Drivers and managers at First Student monitor road conditions and determine if they can safely transport students. It is rarely an easy call. One location in the district may seem fine, but another may be icy and dangerous. Some of our bus routes are interconnected and canceling one route can impact the others. DOT works diligently to keep roads cleared, often working hours before the rest of us are awake to clear roadways. Even so, when the temperature is hovering around 32 degrees, conditions can change rapidly. You and I can second guess First Student, but if they are not confident in their ability to safely transport students, we will cancel school. Forcing someone to drive a bus-load of students if they consider the roads unsafe is not wise.
Unlike road conditions, calling school off for cold weather is much more objective. District policy calls for school to be canceled if temperatures are 50 degrees below zero or colder at 6:00AM. KCAM provides the official temperature for school closures for the entire district.
When school is canceled, we contact local media, including KCAM and KCHU. We also post cancellations on our Facebook page and through our mailing list, which you can sign up for at www.crsd.us. Later this year, we hope to test a new text alert system that will allows us to send out text messages to your cell phone when school is cancelled.
School cancelations create a wide range of reactions. From some, it is inconvenient. For others it is down right frustrating. And then there are those who celebrate wildly. We can all agree, keeping our students safe is much more important than schedules or conveniences.
The last few years we’ve canceled school in November/December due to road conditions. As winter storms come through and temperatures vary, please be aware of road conditions and potential school closures. If you haven’t signed up for our email list, please do so as one more way to stay informed.
Now, after reading about wintery travel, go make some spring break reservations for somewhere warm.