Schools prepare for winter weather closings and delays

Oct 12, 2013

Haywood County Schools closed an average of 8.5 days during the last 10 years because of inclement weather.

Inclement weather during winter months often creates hazardous travel conditions in the form of icy roads, snow covered roads and even patches of frozen fog on roadways.

Hazardous travel conditions may require altering school operating schedules, altering bus routes or closing schools. Schools will be closed when ten percent (10 percent) of the bus routes have to be altered due to weather conditions. Schools will also be closed if weather conditions prevent all of the buses from running their regular routes at an individual school.

When weather conditions cause a change in school schedules, local media are notified by 5:45 a.m. each morning so the change may be announced as soon as reasonably possible. The school system will continue to use AlertNow a rapid notification calling system for parents and staff. This system was purchased for parent and staff notification and is not available for use with businesses or community organizations. Weather related announcements are posted on the school district website at www.haywood.k12.nc.us. Interested individuals can also call 456-2441 (extension 2177) to hear a recorded message. One of five announcements will be made.

  1. School closed – optional workday – Schools will be closed for students. However, faculty and staff have the option of reporting to work or taking accumulated annual leave day.
  2. School closed – annual leave day – Schools will be closed for students. Ten month employees will have an annual leave day deducted from their leave allotment and should not report to work. Eleven and twelve month employees may use accumulated annual leave or report to work.
  3. Closed (or no day) – Schools will be closed for students and all staff. Staff may only work with the prior approval of the Superintendent, Associate Superintendent or Principal. This day may be used for several reasons: (1) when weather causes school to be closed on Monday. Tuesday or Wednesday and the make-up day is scheduled for Saturday (2) when annual leave days and workdays have been exhausted or are nearly exhausted (3) when travel conditions are extremely dangerous and there is a significant risk of injury if employees attempt to report to work.
  4. Two-hour delay – Buses will operate two hours later than their regular schedule for morning bus runs. Buses will not run on icy roads. In the afternoon, buses will operate their normal time and route schedule to the extent roads can be safely traveled. Parents are encouraged to meet school buses at a point on the route where road conditions do not allow a bus to travel. When there is a two-hour delay, school buildings will be opened on the normal operating schedule so working parents may take children to school. Students arriving early should report to their first class or the school’s designated area. Regular class schedules will begin two hours later than the normal schedule. Faculty and staff should report to work on the normal schedule. Students who cannot meet buses at safe turn-around locations will be allowed an excused absence and will be required to make-up work in accordance with policy.
  5. Three-hour delay – Buses will operate three hours later than their regular schedule for morning bus runs. Buses will not run on icy roads. In the afternoon, buses will operate their normal time and route schedule to the extent roads can be safely traveled. Parents are encouraged to meet school buses at a point on the route where road conditions do not allow a bus to travel. When there is a three-hour delay, school buildings will be opened on the normal operating schedule so working parents may take children to school. Students arriving early should report to their first class or the school’s designated area. Regular class schedules will begin three hours later than the normal schedule. Faculty and staff should report to work on the normal schedule. Students who cannot meet buses at safe turn-around locations will be allowed an excused absence and will be required to make-up work in accordance with policy.

Many people think delay schedules are designed to allow roadways to melt. While warming can be beneficial, many buses begin their routes before temperatures begin to rise. Delay schedules improve travel safety by allowing drivers to better see road conditions. Delay schedules also provide time for the Department of Transportation to work on road trouble spots. Delays are also used in some instances to determine if early morning winter storms develop as forecasted.

Dr. Anne Garrett, Superintendent said, “The overriding factor in making weather related decisions is the safety of our students and staff. Since weather can change quickly in our mountains, we will make most decisions in the early morning hours. That allows us to consider the most current weather and road conditions.”

Rick Stiles, transportation director said, “Predicting weather and making decisions about school schedules in the mountains is not a perfect science. In making these decisions, we use every tool available, including information about weather conditions in neighboring counties, radar imagery and first hand observations of local road conditions.

Dr. Bill Nolte, associate superintendent said, “When making decisions about school schedules, we focus on road conditions not forecasts and not snow on the ground. Our primary focus is on the condition of roads across the entire district.”

 

Comments (2)
Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Oct 15, 2013 00:55

I'm not thrilled they schedule some makeup classes on Shabbot but refuse to schedule classes on Sunday. When I called the superintendent I was told my children would be marked absent but excused if I didn't make them go to school on our religious day. Yet when I asked why Sunday wasn't offered as an alternative I was told people want to go to church.  Do you think?  I mean seriously? 



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Oct 16, 2013 09:54

           Mr. Alsbrooks;

 

            Contact North Carolina ACLU. Barb and I were board members of the Western North Carolina branch for several years. Real nice folks from all walks of life.

             As of yet, the public school has not violated your kids rights. But as you pointed out and are quite well within your rights to object, they have voted to allow saturday school but not sunday. This opens the door to discrimination.

            It is possibly discrimination for several reasons not the least of which is the outright violation of "equal protection" which comes from the Deistic embrace of Naturally inherent and therefore inalienable rights as expressed by the "Founders" in George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights which was used by Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independance(except for the second paragraph), and by James Madison as the cornerstone of OUR Bill of Rights, and subsequently adopted by the states. Madison expanded and explained this notion in his Remonstrance and Remembrance Against Religious Assessments in Favour of the Teachers of the Christian Religion:"If "all men are by nature equally free and independant,"(Virginia Declaration of Rights) all men are to be considered to be entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an "equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience."(Virginia Declaration of Rights)".  As agents of OUR Govt, the public school board may not your kids First Amendment right of "free exercise". Furthermore! The North Carolina Religious Clause is quite clear:"All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and no human authority, shall, in any case whatsoever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience". This is to the point and quite concise with little wiggle room for abuse.

          As a farm kid I realized before I ever stepped foot in a public classroom that animals don't care what day of the week it is, and every day is a chance to learn. To that end I support public school 7 days a week, to be fair. I objected/refused to say the Pledge of Aligience in the 4th grade. I stated that "under God" was religious and I only engaged in religion when I chose to and not just because it was required, and that I considered it to be a private issue, and that as a farm kid I realized God didn't do chores, I did., etc, etc, and I hadn't committed treason overnight. Other kids agreed. Especially Amish/Mennonite. Kids in grade school at large agreed. Pledge was no longer required for at least three years. I haven't said it again.

          Jefferson's Act For Establishing Religious Freedom quite well spells out what the intent was as to religious Liberty also.

          Mr. Alsbrooks;

      

          There has long been a false claim about OUR judeo/christian founding when in fact there were no Jews as Founders and the Unitarian opinion was quite well embraced and established by the Bill of rights. If you would, please explain to the good folks of OUR shared community what the differencees are between the Jewish opinion and the Unitarian opinion, especially as they differ to the Trinitarian. Op-ed. Special editorial. Something like that.

 

                In this day of ted cruze "dominionist", we must fight back with education or blood will follow.

 

                Thanks,

 

                 Chuck Zimmerman(I am the liberal people warn about).



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