Parents and Patrons,
The process of determining delays or cancellation of school starts at about 4:00 a.m. It involves many people and community agencies. It is not a unilateral decision made by only the Superintendent of Schools. We are always going to try and be in school when students and staff can safely get to school. There are many factors that go into the decision including:
1. Emergency Management in Decatur County issues the county’s emergency status. This would include a status of yellow, orange, or red. If there is an orange or red status then the decision is no un-necessary travel. School will be closed.
2. What the county highway has been able to do with clearing the county roads. We work closely with them.
3. What the city street department has been able to do with clearing the city streets and making intersections safe. We also work very closely with them.
4. What Bruce Copple (School SRO), Tim Kane (Director of Maintenance for GCS), and Leon Johnson (Director of Transportation for GCS) along with the Superintendent decide after we have driven the roads. Our worst roads are tested between 4:15 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. to get the best information we can get to make an informed decision.
5. What the weather forecast says for the day involving new snow or temperatures is very important. You have to project at least 8 hours ahead of your decision.
6. How much ice is on the roads? Ice is much harder to deal with than just snow.
7. How many students will we not be able to pick up?
8. Can we get the students home in the evening?
9. Is drifting snow a concern? We have to be aware of all the students that drive to and from school.
10. What are the other local school systems doing? I talk to the superintendents from Rushville, Shelbyville, Batesville, South Ripley and sometimes Columbus along with Johnny Budd from Decatur County.
11. Once we have made a decision I will get the info to the staff and public ASAP. The time of notification varies on occasion because things can change quickly. You have to be a little flexible on those questionable mornings. The Superintendent will always try and make the call before 6:00 a.m. or the night before when possible.
Our commitment is to our students and we will always do what is in their best interest. Winter is far from over so please be patient. Have a great rest of the school year.
Tom Hunter, Superintendent