Lafayette

Jan 23, 2014 7:40 PM by Akeam Ashford

What School Administrators Consider When Closing Schools

According to Lafayette Public Schools Director of Transportation Damon Evans, administrators like to make the decision on whether or not to close schools early in the day.

"We get everybody on the horn and see how everyone feels about closing school. We hold meetings well before we make that decision," Evans said.

Evans says it becomes a challenge the later they wait to make a decision.

"Well, we have to notify every single one of our drivers, and every single one of our bus attendants that we're postponing school for that particular day. The logistics on warning every one takes time," Evans said.

The school board has not closed schools parishwide this year, but Evans says Milton Elementary and Truman Elementary were closed earlier in the month because the heating in the schools stopped working.

"We're trying to avoid that situation and be as preemptive as possible. That's why on very cold times if we are going to have school, or if we plan on having school, we have our maintenance people get out to ever single school by 4:30 a.m.," Evans said.

More than 17,000 students ride a school bus in Lafayette Parish. Add another 500 workers responsible for getting those students back and forth.

"They know how to drive in different conditions, but most of our drivers here have never driven in snow or driven in the ice like up north. I'm the kind of person that errs on the side of caution. I don't want anybody out in the weather just for safety reasons," Evans said.

The earliest route in the parish starts at 5 a.m. With extremely cold temperatures, Evans says he'll have 10% of his buses break down.

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