TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Winter is just around the corner and the Vigo County School Corporation wants to make sure parents know how snow day decisions are made.
“We are going to publish a document on our website that will really set fourth the process that we take into account as we experience inclement weather,” explains Dr. Tom Balitewicz, assistant superintendent for student services at VCSC. “We want to start thinking about that game plan for that, looking at the timing and the impact that will have.”
He says the corporation’s bus drivers and other employees are their first line of defense when winter weather hits.
“We want to check road conditions and we’re checking those conditions, primarily, to ensure our busses can transport students safely on the roadways.”
Should you send your student to school? It’s your call
School officials say they try to make a decision as early as possible so parents can make alternate plans. Even if school is in session, Balitewicz says the decision to send your child to school, or keep them home, should be made by the families.
“Ultimately, it’s the decision of the family to say whether or not their child can drive to school. We respect those decisions by families.”
But, what about the school facilities themselves?
Dr. John Newport is the chief operating officer of facility operations for the school corporation. He says they have been “Getting our plow vehicles ready and make sure they’re operating correctly and that they’ll be ready to push snow at a moment’s notice.”
Newport continues, “It takes us about 6 to 8 hours to outfit all 12 of our trucks with plows and we also have three salt bins for trucks that can spread salt in our parking lots.”
What about the walkers?
Balitewicz says, roads and buildings aren’t their only concerns when winter weather hits.
“We have to think about those walkers. We have to think about whether or not a sidewalk is shoveled or a roadway is plowed So, we have to think about that. We have to think about the wind chill. We have to think about whether they are dressed appropriately for that weather.”
Whether the student rides the bus, drives or walks, school officials say student safety is paramount.