Wary school systems cancel, delay classes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Wary school systems cancel, delay classes under threat of potential snowfall

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Metro Louisville crews brined streets in advanced of Friday's snowstorm. Metro Louisville crews brined streets in advanced of Friday's snowstorm.
JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS and other Kentuckiana school districts decided to prepare for the worst Friday after predictions of accumulating school during the afternoon.

Roads were fine as the noon hour approached Friday, but crews have been treating them since Thursday as they prepare for the next winter blast.

Besides JCPS, a number of school districts in the area, including Hardin and Oldham Counties in Kentucky, as well as New Albany-Floyd County Schools and Greater Clark County in Indiana, are dismissing early today.

We spoke with school officials who explained their reasoning behind canceling and dismissing classes early.

JCPS officials told WDRB's Stephan Johnson it was just too big of a risk with so much snow in the forecast and more than 70,000 students to transport home when heavy snow could be falling.

JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey says the decision to cancel classes was made early for safety reasons. He says they wouldn't have been able to get students to and from schools before the snow moved in.

Jackey says the decision was made primarily based on forecasts from the National Weather Service that said conditions could begin deteriorating around 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.

"We know that it's already going to be snowing, we know that many people are going to be leaving work early, and we know there could be accidents out there," Jackey said. "So you could take that three hours and probably expand it significantly.

"That puts us in the 11:30 to 11:00 range to be safe to get everyone else home. We could possibly even do that earlier. When you're already getting kids to school for the first time at 7:30 in the morning, and you're looking at an 11:00 to 11:30 dismissal, that significantly impacts the instructional day."

Jackey says it's better for students and teachers to have a full make-up day down the road rather than being in class for just a few hours. He also noted that besides the 70,000 students transported on buses, there are also other students who would be driving their own vehicles, thus possibly putting them in harm's way.

Friday's imminent snow would mark the 16th "snow event" for Louisville Metro salt and plow crews, which is five more than all of last year.

With this latest snow day, Jackey says the JCPS school year will now be extended until June 10.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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