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How schools decide to delay or close when winter weather moves in

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Posted at 5:30 AM, Nov 12, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — When winter weather moves into Central Indiana, schools are forced to decided if they are going to cancel, delay, or keep schools open.

While each district considers the impacts its decision will have, the number one priority is safety.

"It's really hard because we want to make a conservative call on the side of safety for everyone yet we also can empathize it messes the family schedule up," said Dr. Jack Parker, superintendent of Mount Vernon School Corporation.

For bus drivers like Mike Tomes, the district's decision can make his job dangerous.

Derek Shelton, director of operations at Mouth Vernon Community Schools, says he gets up early every morning to monitor the road conditions across the entire district.

"South of 70 gets a little bit different weather than north of 70 so if we get a lot of snow up here than they don't necessarily get a lot of snow down there," Shelton said.

Indianapolis Public Schools says they also send people out to check the road conditions before making a decision to cancel or delay schools.

"We send people out to each of the four corners of the district basically so we're getting an accurate representation," IPS Communications Manager Carrie Black said.

If the wind chills falls into the 10 minutes or less to frost bite range, IPS says this could be a reason for them to cancel or delay schools.