Seeing some possible dangerously cold weather in our future I wanted to share what goes into making a cold weather call for school.
Luckily for Central, our school buildings are pretty centrally located in our district. This includes our bus garage. When it gets cold, our greatest fear is that our diesel fuel will gel up in the buses. This happened to one of our buses earlier in the year due to water in the fuel system. When a bus gels up, it typically loses power but still runs allowing for the heater in the bus to still work.
When we decided to go on-time last Friday (and other cold days) it was because of the following:
1) The temperature was -14. While that is certainly cold, that isn't close to the -20's and -30's predicted. Had we done a 2-hour late start, the temperature would have warmed up 4 degrees to -10. If we can't can't go to school at -14, hard to justify going to school at -10.
2) All of our buses started right up and we had back-up buses in case of an emergency. We can get to about any part of our district in 15-20 minutes.
3) All of our buses are equipped with radios. We have excellent communication tools.
4) This doesn't have as much to do with the cold, but all of our buses are also equipped with a push button chain system.
5) Safety. More and more people ignore bus laws. These accidents are often fatalities. Putting the buses out 2 hours later also puts them out in traffic that are not used to driving with buses on the roads.
Hopefully this clarifies and shines a light on the thought process going into weather calls related to severe cold weather. If you ever have a question or concern with a weather call, I ask that you contact the district office instead of social media. I heard a speaker once say, "the definition of complaining is when you voice a concern to someone who can't fix the concern".