It is no easy juggling act when running a school.
Besides the emphasis on curriculum, a proper balance involves the safety of students, teachers and staffers — including maintenance personnel and bus drivers.
As Madison County families saw this week, the wintry storm knocked everyone off-balance as schools were closed five days straight.
The decisions by superintendents were based on caution and safety. Announcing the closings was made early enough that parents and school workers could prepare. No students had to rush out from their warm homes into the cold, dark morning to race for the bus. Or dashing from behind an 8-foot-high snow pile to find the bus stop.
It was also wise for the Indiana Department of Education to issue a blanket waiver for school closings on Monday and Tuesday — not even state staffers could get into work to start OK'ing waivers. So it will be up to individual districts to seek waivers for the rest of the week — again a good decision that reminds local districts to always think before canceling classes due to weather.
The Midwest is known for its sudden shift in temperatures.
And, assuming classes start on Monday, please keep the following tips in mind. Dress children appropriately. Don't let them stand outside in freezing temperatures. Make sure pupils stand a safe distance from the bus as it approaches. As always, don't let get into vehicles with strangers. If there's a steep hill near your bus stop, and roads are icy, call the school or transportation department to arrange a safer spot. Drivers should stay safely away from school buses.
Juggling school priorities is tough job for anyone working in education. But when wintry conditions exist, making sure that safety is a top concern becomes a job for everyone.
In summary When safety is a top priority, then it's a good idea to close schools for a week.