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The months of January and February typically include a harsh introduction to winter weather in the Midwest. Winter storms and bitterly cold temperatures sometimes result in early dismissals and school cancellations.

When considering whether it is safe enough to conduct school during inclement weather, I typically consider three factors:

•             The amount of snowfall or ice and the impact of the storm on road conditions and the district's ability to safely transport students.

•             Whether blowing and drifting snow is also predicted along with extremely cold temperatures.

•             The status of the bus fleet. Although, buses are fitted with engine block heaters, last year's historic string of sub-zero days resulted in problems with some buses.

We are fortunate that most of our students do not wait outside for a bus for longer than 10 minutes. Few students walk to and from school. The transportation department staff also takes additional steps on cold weather days including keeping spare buses and vehicles on stand-by in the event of a bus break down.

I recognize the hardship that school cancellations can create for parents, particularly when we have a historic season as we did last year with so many school closings. We will make every effort to conduct school whenever we can safely transport students and as long as our staff can also safely travel to and from school. 

Part of life in the Midwest is dealing with challenging winter mornings, and I appreciate your support by reminding your children to dress appropriately for the conditions. This includes ensuring that children are wearing long pants, coats, gloves/mittens, and hats.

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