Superintendents have much to consider when closing schools - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Superintendents have much to consider when closing schools

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The decision to cancel school is one that sometimes isn't easy for superintendents. We wanted to know what kind of factors go into making that call.

Jefferson county superintendent Dr. Stephen Nowlin made the careful decision to close school again Wednesday.

"when you're trying to take care of 36,000 kids and 4400 employees and you put their safety on your mind, you want to err on the side of the caution."

that caution panned out Tuesday. Ice formed on roads and bridges.

"when you call school off 12 hours ahead of time, or 14, you're going on the best forecast you have."

Nowlin says he has to make the assumption that weather will be a little worse than what's in the forecast. He also pays attention to timing while using his experience. What have you accomplished?

he says the risks outweigh the gain - and parents agree.

Vandy carter says, "I think its better to stay home."

Erskine Davis says, "better to be safe than sorry."

but how will students make up these days?

Nowlin says, "if the governor declares a state of emergency and schools are not able to be in session because of the weather then we can apply to the state superintendent not to have those make up days."

Dr. Nowlin says students will still end up meeting the minimum number of hours required by the state.  

However, if this weather continues, he says he'll have to look at options.

School is out Monday for Presidents Day, but Dr. Nowlin says they're going to be looking at whether or not to change it.

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