The process in which school officials use to determine a school delay or cancellation is not an easy one. That’s according to North Judson-San Pierre School Superintendent Lynn Johnson who explains her corporation’s procedure.
“We cover 138 square miles and we have contact points in each of the four quadrants the school district covers. They report back to our director of transportation, who is Julie Soplanda. Julie calls me and then I make the decision on the delay,” said Superintendent Johnson.
That decision is usually made by 5 a.m.
“Usually, the very latest we can make a call is 6 a.m. Once those buses go out, let’s say they go out at 6 a.m. and they’re on the road, our first students are picked up around 6:30 a.m., we will not call them back. Even if the weather is fine and it gets bad, we will not call them back because kids are standing outside. We will pick up the kids, come back to school and make a determination at that point about an early dismissal.”
Johnson also said she sometimes confers with Knox and Oregon-Davis schools to make a uniformed decision in case of a severe weather event.
Unless a heavy snow event or other inclement weather event is predicted to severely hamper travel in the morning, a delay could be called in the previous evening. Johnson said most of the decisions to delay school are made in the morning.
She added that from time-to-time the Starke County highway superintendent will request a delay to the start of school so crews can have more time to clear roads so the buses can safely transport students.
Students do not have to make up any time missed during a two-hour delay situation, but they do need to make up time if school is closed.