How Schools Decided to Close Today

Monday, February 1st 2010, 1:09 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY – Many metro school districts have decided to close today, including the Oklahoma City Public School District. Transportation officials from multiple districts spent Monday evening checking streets for travel conditions.

Oklahoma City Public Schools have zone leaders who drive neighborhood streets to determine if the streets are safe for the more than 200 district buses to travel. Besides road conditions, conditions around the school also play into a decision.

"We look at the parking lot for our teachers to walk from, at the high schools if some of the kids are driving, those aren't necessarily cleared out and ready to go," said Kathleen Kennedy with the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Transportation employees de-iced buses just in case school was in session Tuesday.

"We're knocking off as much ice as we can off the busses, we're making sure they all start," said Laurie Hudnall, OKC Public Schools Director of Transportation.

Kenny Chamlee, the Transportation Director for Edmond Public Schools, said Edmond also had crews checking conditions.

"We have eight crews spread out on the roads of our district. It's not just if main streets are clear. We're looking at neighborhood bus stops and roads," Chamlee said.

Looking at conditions around stop signs and bus stops is one thing crews concentrate on.

"If there is a lot of ice around areas where our buses need to stop, that's a problem. Our buses can get going a lot easier than they can stop," said Chamlee. "We've also got to consider what it will be like for students to stand at the bus stop if conditions will make any buses late. One late route impacts multiple routes. That means students standing outside for long periods of time."

In Edmond, Chamlee said if a decision to close has not been made, crews will be sent out at about 3 a.m. the following day to do another check on road conditions.

Due to the recent snow storm, Edmond Public Schools have decided to add a fourth snow day to the end of the school year, making the official last day for students Friday, May 28, 2010. The fifth snow day will be made up on Monday, February 15, 2010. That day was originally scheduled as a district inservice day. All students and staff will be in session February 15, 2010.

District officials have determined if one or more snow days occur in addition to the already accumulated days, the district will consider extending the length of the regular school day to make up the missed hours.

Metro school districts have already exceeded the number of built-in snow days. Oklahoma City Public Schools have two snow days.

School has been canceled five days due to winter weather. District officials will decide after February how to make up the days. They will present a plan to the school board and to the state board of education. The district could add days to the end of the year or add time to the end of the school day to make up what they missed.

The missed days have district officials across the state worried about the learning process. Every day students miss cuts into the time they have to prep for state testing.

For a complete list of closings check's Closings Page.