School District 71 says it wants to remind everyone that decisions for snow days are given thorough thought and consideration.
The district says it will only make announcements when there’s a closure due to adverse weather or a power outage, and if no announcements are made then it’s business as usual.
Spokesperson for SD71, Mary Lee says the maintenance department surveys road conditions early in the morning and consults with the bus company to determine if the routes can operate.
“Buses in the morning begin routes at approximately 6:45am and begin picking children up by about 7:00am In the afternoon, most buses are on the road by 2:00 p.m. Ensuring the efficient operations of each route in a timely fashion is of great importance to the District. If there is snowfall overnight and accumulating in the morning, we make every attempt to make a call about school closures prior to the morning pickup of children by the buses.”
“If we do not make the call by this time, then students are on their way to school and we need to be prepared to receive and care for them. It is extremely difficult for us to make a call on school closures as late as 8:00am as it is long past the time buses have commenced on the routes.”
She added that many things dictate whether or not the schools close, but the safety of students is the district’s top priority.
“If there is snowfall accumulation during the day, we need to ensure the safe return of children
to their homes or place of care. Many parents are working and cannot pick up their children or the children are too young to be at home alone.”
“For these reasons, we believe that it is better to keep students safely with us in our schools rather than to dismiss early from the school day. We would, in these cases, dismiss at our regular times and bus students home as safely as possible.”
If the school buses are cancelled after already sent out, SD71 says the school impacted by the route will contact parents and guardians to inform them of the situation.
To stay up to date on school closures, visit Schools District 71’s website, or tune into local radio stations.