Bullitt Co. Superintendent talks about school closing decisions

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WHAS11.com

Posted on January 26, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 26 at 10:48 PM

Keith Davis of BCPS told WHAS11 about the difficulty in deciding whether or not to close school in weather-related situations.  Bullitt County Schools were in session Tuesday when JCPS was heavily criticized for staying in session as well.

 

Letter to Parents from Bullitt Co. Superintendent Keith Davis:

Dear BCPS Supporter,

I've had several comments today about the decision to not have a delay or cancellation.  I understand the feelings of those who were critical of my decision, but want to explain it very briefly.  The bottom line is that when the buses were rolling at about 5:15, the ground was clear and there was no indication of what was coming. 

At around 7:45, it was slippery in parts of the county, but our extremely capable bus drivers were handling the situation very well and had collected the majority of middle school students and a good number of elementary students. 

Trying to call for a partial delay at that point would have been very confusing to parents, and the main roads were already getting somewhat better.  The forecasts were correct in that the roads were clear by the end of the school day, so getting the children home was not a problem.

What I'm trying to say is that our process is a very cautious one, but conditions make it something that cannot be scientific.  Calling a delay - which seems to be the most recurring theme of the criticism - at 5:15 would have put our high school student drivers (and most inexperienced drivers) on the road at 8:30 or earlier - right in the midst of the poor conditions. 

Today's conditions came on suddenly, but we were in constant contact with all relevant departments of state and local government, and our bus drivers made excellent decisions on where to drive.  I especially applaud their efforts to keeping our kids safe; they are really a great group of people.

The school cancellation decision is a no-win unless it is very clear cut.  It seems to rarely be clear cut.  I pledge to you that those helping me make these decisions have the very best interests of our children at heart and ask for your trust in that.  Someone rightly pointed out that the parent was the final "decider" on whether a child goes to school.  This is absolutely correct. 

If you do not feel that the roads are safe enough, you should keep your child home.  An unexcused absence is not a great thing to have, but that is your call to make as a parent until it gets to the point of violating truancy laws.

Thank you for reading and join me in hoping that further winter weather will announce itself a little more in advance.  Finally, we should all be thankful that we had no injuries or accidents this morning.

Sincerely,

Keith Davis, Superintendent

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