Snow Days! by Stephanie Raper
Ever wondered how the decision is made to cancel school due to weather? Well, as everyone knows, the Grenada School District recently had to make that decision two days in a row due to an unusual event in Mississippi known as SNOW!
When white flakes and bits of ice began falling a little over a week ago, school administration started the process to determine if the roads would be safe for students and staff to travel the next day. This is a crucial decision due to the sheer number of people affected. There are approximately 4333 students (3800 of which ride school-provided buses) and 584 staff members that travel to and from school each day of the week. The safety of these individuals is utmost in the minds of GSD administration during times of questionable weather.
According to Benji Britt, Transportation Director for GSD, the Grenada School District has a road scouting team that consists of GHS Principal Jerry Williams, GMS Principal Tim Wilder, Asst. EOC Director Trebia Rogers, and himself. During a weather event, this team coordinates with the Grenada EOC to determine road conditions between the hours of 2:00a.m. and 4:30a.m. However, on the Sunday the snow began to fall, there was a wider time frame to make a decision. Britt stated, “At 7:00p.m. the roads were clear, but by 8:p.m., there were no signs of roads – there was a total white out! I contacted Dr. David Daigneault, GSD Superintendent, and we quickly determined there would be no school on Monday.”
The decision to cancel school on Tuesday was a little more complicated as many of the main roads and city roads had begun to clear. Temperature and precipitation both played an important role in the decision. Would the temperature rise or fall overnight? Would more snow or sleet descend? Would the roads refreeze during the night? As many county roads and bridges as well as school sidewalks were still covered in snow and ice at 9:00p.m. Monday evening, school was cancelled for Tuesday.
Because the Grenada School District is responsible for city and county students, paved roads, as well as rural, gravel, and dirt roads, must be taken into consideration. Many school buses travel rural roads on their route, and these roads must be safe enough for buses to traverse without mishap. The Grenada School District considers the safety and well being of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the safety of Grenada residents, as a top priority. The district will always strive to make decisions based on the side of caution.
Snow days don’t happen in Mississippi very often, and staff and students at GSD enjoyed them to the fullest! However, due to the State Department regulation of school days that must be attended, the days must be made up. Grenada School District will make up the snow days on February 14 and April 25. These two days were previously designated by the district as weather make-up days. Please mark your calendars to include these days in your plans for the upcoming months.
An old saying goes, “If snow stays on the ground for three days, it will snow again.” We’ll be waiting to see …
In the Loop Editor