Sunday, June 16, 2024
Happening Now

Decision To Close Schools Is Complicated One For Directors

Upper Cumberland School Districts closed for inclement weather Friday, but without seeing too much snow or ice. The decision to close schools for inclement weather is one of the more complicated ones for School Directors.

Warren County Schools Director Grant Swallows said the most challenging part is trying to work through all the moving parts, including predicted forecasts and the timing of the weather.

“Really the predictor for me yesterday was when we were placed in a winter weather advisory,” Swallows said. “If that had not been the case, I think I would’ve put off a decision until later. And as it’s played out through the day today, we’ve seen some of the weather but not really any of the road conditions that we had been concerned about”

Swallows said one issue with making the call on the same day is that it can cause hindrance both to schools and to families. He said a shorter notice hurts families who have to find alternative childcare.

Swallows said if the school decides to do an early dismissal or a late start, that can create issues because school buses are on the roads in dangerous conditions. He said with some 6,200 students in the Warren County School System, he does his best to make the best decision for students, families, and staff.

“You got to be careful when you talk to people because those ideas are slanted too because you know when I talk to my kids, they’re all for getting out of school,” Swallows said. “But you want to look at those carefully. For me, it’s looking at the timing of the predicted weather and I think that could ultimately be why so many of the districts in middle Tennessee this morning made a call last night because it was supposed to get here around 3 a.m., 4 a.m., and that’s just difficult on everyone.”