The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

March 5, 2013

Snow day? County school districts make the call

ANDERSON, Ind. — Snow day or school day? It’s a call school districts must make when the weather becomes hazardous. And it’s not one they typically do alone.

“It’s an art and a science,” said Alice Johnson, superintendent of Alexandria Community School Corp.

Of course, school administrators utilize National Weather Service forecasts to keep an eye on things.

And Johnson gets recommendations from the transportation director, bus drivers already out and is in touch with both local and state police who report on county road conditions. Plus, she herself is out at 4 a.m.

The district makes a decision by 6:15 at the latest.

Joe Cronk, director of transportation at Anderson Community Schools, said he goes out around 4 a.m., drives around for about an hour to cover as much ground as he can to get a “whole district picture” and collaborates with different departments to make the call.

Cronk especially pays attention to areas like intersections, bridges and road edges. And districts closely observe factors like snow depth and drifting caused by winds. If a bus can’t see a culvert, for example, it’s a hazard, Cronk said.

He also converses with city and county road crews to see what can or can’t be cleared, and their response often decides whether the district goes with a delay or cancellation.

“The general rule of thumb is if 25 percent is impassable, we close,” he said.

Cronk added that ACS communicates with other school systems like Daleville and South Madison to get an idea of how the northern and southern parts of the county are looking, and often tries to synchronize a plan of action with neighboring districts.

Johnson said she too stays in touch with neighboring superintendents to see what they’re experiencing.

There are not just buses and parent drivers to worry about, she added, but student drivers to look after, as well.

And there’s also maintenance of parking lots and sidewalks to make facilities as safe as possible.

If it’s “crystal clear” that conditions are just going to worsen, Johnson said, they cancel.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

Text Only
Local Education
  • FEA HB0424 Frankton Prom Court 2014 Frankton prom court named The Frankton High School Prom Court has been selected for Saturday‚Äôs prom at The Factory, a community building owned and renovated by the First United Methodist Church of Frankton.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0423 - Symphony for Kids - JC 31a.jpg Symphony for Kids draws Anderson-area students

    Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students attended the Anderson Symphony Orchestra's performance Tuesday during the annual Symphony for Kids concert at the Paramount Theatre.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankton school evacuated, no bomb found

    Students were back in classes at Frankton Jr./Sr. High School after a bomb threat forced an evacuation Tuesday morning. No explosive device was found.

    April 22, 2014

  • Students to get introduction to symphony Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade Madison County students will be going to the Paramount Theatre Tuesday for the annual Symphony for Kids concert.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ellspermann, Susan Ellspermann to deliver AU commencement address Indiana Lt. Gov. Susan Ellspermann will address the Anderson University Class of 2014 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 10.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 2 Acting without words

    Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • NWS-HB0419-IvyTech-JC2.JPG Work begins on new Ivy Tech facility

    Motorists driving on East 60th Street near Columbus Avenue will notice heavy machinery working in preparation for a new educational facility in Anderson.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Many schools see increases in IREAD scores More Madison County schools reported preliminary IREAD-3 test results Friday and, for the most part, officials were pleased with the results.

    April 18, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide