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Superintendent

Hello Everyone.

We have made it to November, and unfortunately we are getting close to a significant change in the weather. With such heavy rain yesterday and colder temperatures today, I thought that it might be helpful to review the procedures for weather delays and school cancellations in the South Butler County School District.  

Weather

Weather conditions always cause challenging mornings for the bus drivers and families in our school district.   The process of making decisions regarding delays and cancellations begins with weather alerts that come out days or hours before a significant weather event.  When poor weather occurs overnight, I begin my morning by making calls to my contact at W. L. Roenigk Bus Company and to the South Butler County School District Buildings and Grounds Supervisor at approximately 4:30 a.m.  We discuss current road conditions, our ability to clean the parking lots and sidewalks on our campus, the weather radar, and the hour-by-hour forecast. Once a decision is made to delay/cancel, I make phone calls to the following staff members:

  • SBCSD District Communications liaison begins the process for the automated call.  There is a small amount of lag time of about 15 - 20 minutes for the computer system to process the request and for all of the calls to reach your phone. The information is immediately sent to the local media and posted on the district website and Facebook page.

  • SBCSD Director of Buildings and Grounds informing him of the delayed start or cancellation.  

  • Food Service Director from Nutrition Group also receives the call in order to inform the ladies who work preparing breakfast.

  • A call is also made to the Vo-Tech to inform the school that our students are working on a modified schedule.

Cold weather calls can be made in the evening based upon the forecast.  As a rule of thumb I have tried to follow weather service guidelines as I have posted on the website and can be found below:

The safety and welfare of our students, staff and families are our primary concern during challenging weather conditions.  Weather delays/cancellations will occur if road conditions or temperatures are determined to be unsafe. The National Weather Service has criteria for each county in PA for calling a Wind Chill Advisory. If the Wind Chill (combination of real temperature and wind speed) is -10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in Butler County, the National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Advisory. When there is a Wind Chill Advisory during morning pick-up time, school will be delayed if temperatures are predicted to rise during the day. If there is a Wind Chill Advisory that will persist all day, then school may be canceled. Early dismissals for any reason other than an extreme emergency will be avoided if possible.

This is clearly not an exact science and probably the most challenging part of my job.  I appreciate the patience from the entire South Butler County School District community.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Respectfully,                                                                                                              

David Foley, Ed.D.

Superintendent