Local schools explain delays and cancellations

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Local schools explain delays and cancellations (Image 1)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - School districts across Southwest Virginia use different formulas to determine when to delay or cancel school. Most schools in the area use reports from the National Weather Service, as well as a road team to determine if winter weather is harsh enough to cancel classes.

For large districts that have many students living on back roads, snow and ice is often a top priority. When road conditions become dangerous, that's when many districts say they make the call to cancel.

When temperatures and wind chills dip extremely low, districts that have many students taking the bus like Roanoke City consider cancelling.

Dr. Rita Bishop, Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools, says, "For many of our students there is a brief walk to the bus stop and of course there is time spent standing outside. We always have to worry about, because we do live in the south, whether students have adequate clothing to protect themselves."

Danville Public Schools Director of Safety and Security, Dr. Dave Cochran, says that when temperatures and wind chills dip extremely low, the district can experience trouble with Diesel buses. When buses take longer to get on the roads, that can mean longer waits outside for students so low temperatures are a big concern.


Finally, districts like Pocahontas County in high elevations see extreme weather more frequently which can lead to more closures.

While all districts use a somewhat different method for determining when to close, all say student safety is their number one priority.

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