School Closing Process/Decision

Dear BASD Parents and Community,

I get many questions as to how I determine “snow days” or delays in our district. The following are the procedures that are followed in our district and I hope it helps you to understand that it certainly is not fail proof:

Each evening and early into the morning, our Transportation Director and I check the weather forecast on multiple stations and at various locations throughout the district. We closely watch the predictions hourly, but because they are not always accurate, we take added precautions to make sure the roadways are safe. We begin roughly at 4:30 a.m. to make contacts throughout the district and our Transportation Director drives various roadways as we need to make our determination by 5:30 a.m. (our busses leave shortly thereafter). The BASD spans over 254 square miles, so road conditions and temperatures may be very different depending on where you live. Sometimes the conditions are fine early in the morning, but deteriorate without warning. Because we have two separate bus runs, a two-hour delay only works in our district if it takes the first run out of a storm or cold without putting the second run into worsening conditions (smaller districts do not have two runs and the decision is easier). Our busses are heavy and handle well in snow. Ice is of particular concern for any vehicle and we will always err on the side of caution if large parts of our district are reporting freezing rain or sleet.

Temperatures also vary in the District due to our location. Bradford Area Schools will delay or close on days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below -20 F to -25 F for an extended period of time or during the time that our students would be exposed to the weather. Temperatures with wind chills in this range are considered dangerously cold if exposure is over 10-15 minutes. With students walking to school and waiting at bus stops, we consider this extreme cold a safety issue.

Again, weather reports are not always accurate and the conditions in any given area may deteriorate without warning. If at any time a parent feels that the roadways in their area are impassable or temperatures are unsafe for their child, they merely need to send a note to the school indicating such. We will not count the absence illegal. I want parents to understand that we respect these decisions and that they are again, based on individual locations and student needs. Student safety is of primary importance to us!

I’m hoping you enjoy the winter weather and please stay safe!

Mrs. Katy Pude

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