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Insight into the school closing decision

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My Views

By The Staff

    If my recollection serves me, it is sweeps month for television viewership. If that still be the case, look for a lot of investigations.

    Was interested to see that one station is doing an investigation on Thursday over the decision to open or to close schools due to inclement weather.

    I’ll tape it (or whatever we do in this day and time) because I hope to gain some insight.

    In Jefferson County, it is Bullitt Countian Rick Caple who makes the recommendation to the superintendent, who makes the ultimate call.

    In Bullitt County, superintendent Keith Davis has the final say on whether kids go to school or not.

    The latest controversy was last Tuesday when a sneak attack arrived in the metro area just before sunrise. The light snow mixed with freezing temperatures and a bit of wind to make some roads very slick.

    Many school districts in the region already had buses on the road for high school students and classes were held as scheduled.

    Don’t know what the investigation will find in Jefferson County but here are a few comments, via an e-mail conversation, with Davis about what happens in Bullitt County.

    “There is no formula for calling off school,” said Davis. “It is purely a judgment call based on what might happen.”

    Like all districts, Davis said the main priority is the safety of the children.

    The district has a procedure where there are individuals in all portions of the county who go out and drive the roads. The information is sent back to Davis. Consultation is held with the road crews for the state and county. Police departments are also consulted.

    The district has converted an old bus into a brine spreader to help pre-treat the school facilities. In addition, the district has four or five trucks equipped with snow removal equipment and spreaders.

    While the safety of youngsters is the only real factor, there are other considerations which play a small part in the open/close decision.

    If schools open and then close early, Davis said the day must be made up anyway. There would also be the cost of paying 100 bus drivers and then risking accidents.

    Plus, there is the child care issue if students return home early to an empty house.

    Finally, the option to delay schools a couple of hours is also difficult, said Davis.

    Once again, there are child care issues.

    “I have to weigh the risk and there is never total assurance that a decision is the right one, but I tend to play it safe as I can since we are talking about our kids,” said Davis. “I’d rather get criticized for not having school when maybe we could have than live with the idea that a child didn’t make it home because of what I decided.”

    Pretty strong argument in a very, very difficult call.

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    SCAM alerts

    The Better Business Bureau is always sending out press releases about scams that are being played. You can find many of these updates on our website, www.pioneernews.net.

    It’s probably a pretty good idea to check in occasionally to see what scams are going on.

    A couple of concerns not reaching the BBB in Bullitt County include the Chamber of Commerce.

    The Bullitt County Chamber is not selling ads for a calendar and are not endorsing the project.

    Also, a couple of people in Bullitt County have had money taken from their banking accounts. They found out when they tried to use their debit cards.

    Be safe and make it a habit to check out your balances on a very regular basis with the bank.