Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2005

Schools only snow victims

December 15, 2005

With eight inches of snow on the ground and temperatures in the single digits, Baldwin School District children enjoyed snow days on Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday night, Baldwin made the announcement that all schools would be closed on Thursday, due to the large amount of snowfall that had accumulated and was still coming down.

"We had about seven or eight inches of snow and the maintainers hadn't been through yet," Supt. James White said. "It was a pretty easy call and that was the reason we were able to contact the local radio and television stations."

Many area children and Baker University students traveled up north of town to Signal Oak to go sledding.

"I enjoyed being able to go sledding," said Gabe Mason, Baldwin High School sophomore. "It was great making our own sled and making our own ramp. It was pretty crazy."

Due to the very low temperatures, many people couldn't enjoy the snow for very long.

"It was really cold," Mason said. "We had to go back into town and get some more clothes after a while."

On Thursday, White and Linda Russell, transportation director, decided to have classes Friday after driving many roads.

"We had planned to have school," White said. "Linda Russell and I went home Thursday afternoon and drove roads in the district. They all appeared to be very passable, so we planned to have school."

Then Friday morning, the announcement was made that school would again be canceled.

White said the cold weather prevented buses from starting, because diesel engines commonly have trouble starting in very low temperatures.

"In the morning, Linda called about 6:30 or so, and said they had been trying for a couple hours to get the buses started," White said. "They weren't able to get all of the buses started. They had five and needed 12 buses. We needed to make a quick decision and try to get a hold of the local media to get the information out."

Russell agreed, saying the extremely cold temperatures affected the fleet of buses.

"The unusually cold weather caused many of the buses not to start," Russell said. "The buses just wouldn't run."

The late notice created a few problems for people, but White said most people did a good job of adjusting to the cancellation.

"Everybody did a really good job," White said. "There were a couple calls about the late notice, but under the circumstances there wasn't anything we could do."

White also said the two days missed won't add any more hours on to the end of the year, but more snow days might.

"We have several extra hours built into the yearly calendar, that usually allow us to miss about four days without having to make up additional days," White said. "If we don't have too many snow days in January, February and March, we should be all right."

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