Students encouraged to prepare for the cold

snowplowCLAY COUNTY-With snow and icy road conditions already causing students here to miss a total of 10 school days, schools are in session this week even though below normal temperatures remain.

“Despite frigid temperatures, school needs to be in session if possible,” schools director Jerry Strong said in a statement released Monday.  “Every effort is made to keep buses on schedule, because no one wants our children to stand on the side of the road in extreme cold.

“In order to limit the time children are exposed to the cold, we need parent assistance in keeping buses on schedule.”

Strong recommended the following advice to parents:

• Have students ready to board buses at the scheduled time, because when school bus drivers are forced to wait for children an unusual amount of time, children near the end of the route must wait an even longer amount of time;

• Avoid leaving students unattended while waiting for the bus, because in extreme weather conditions, even older children need to be observed; and

• Dress children warmly by wearing many layers covering their entire bodies, because not only is it cold outside, the cabin area in a bus is hard to heat due to constant stops and the opening of the door leaves most buses cold inside.

The director also said even though precautions are taken, problems may arise because school buses do not operate well in extreme cold.

“There may be some delays,” Strong explained, “but bus drivers do call the Central Office if they are delayed and parents can call for updates when necessary.”

He also recommended parents calling their child’s school “with accurate address and telephone information,” because the contact information could be needed “in the event of early dismissal” due to inclement weather.

The school calendar here allows for 13 snow days, meaning schools can be closed only three more days due to weather before days will have to be made up.

For more information about bus scheduling or for updates on potential delays, contact the school system at 931-243-3310.