Is it safe? On the surface, it is. But to Steve Steiner of Henderson County Schools, it's not safe enough.
"We have to factor in, when we're in a car, it's this much traction, but if it's a bus, we're looking at a little less traction and a little more safety and security that we have to factor in as well," he says.
Traction's one of the factors school officials take in deciding whether to open or close schools. Henderson School officials say roads in Spottsville and Niagara were a major reason in calling off class Wednesday. Officials in McLean and Ohio Counties say some back roads weren't clear enough to handle buses again.
"We waited to make the final call until later that evening so that we could get as much sunlight on the roads as we could," Steiner says. "But just between those two areas, limited the accessibility."
But those troublesome roads became clearer as the day progressed. Steiner says the road itself isn't the only thing to consider.
"Our number one concern is will buses be able, will they slip, will they get their traction, and where we do bus tunrarounds, where they turn and go, and where the bus might stop on the hill," he says.
But school officials also have to consider what to do about the rest of the calendar. Henderson, McLean, and Ohio County Schools are all looking into extending the academic year and moving graduation.
"We hold our graduation at the Ford Center, so we have to work with them to secure dates that are available," Steiner adds. "With our recent pattern, they've told us several areas or days they could use."
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