Each day is unique so I thought it might be best to explain the process and give examples of the procedures we go through give our staff, parents, and patrons an idea of how we make these decisions. The bottom line is that our number one concern is can we get our students to school and home safely. If the answer is no we either delay or cancel. We try to make a decision to delay no later than 5 am and a decision to cancel no later than 7 am. Please understand this is not an exact science. We try to be consistent when making the decision about delays or cancellation. If we error, we try to do so by being too cautious. Please let us know if you have any questions.
· Example Day #1 – This was a road condition only event. Mr. Franklin, HHSC Transportation Director and Dr. Derek Arrowood, Superintendent are aware of a predicted 4-7 inch snowfall and have planned to be out and about early to make delay or cancellation decisions.
o 2 am- Mr. Franklin begins driving roads to decide if busses can travel safely to school. Mr. Franklin concentrates on the roads to the east of SR 19.
o 4 am- Dr. Arrowood begins driving the roads to the west of SR 19.
o 4 am- First conversation between Dr. Arrowood and Mr. Franklin. Mr. Franklin informs Dr. Arrowood the likely need to at least delay because of road conditions.
o 4:30 am- Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood decide to delay school two hours. Mr. Franklin has consulted with Hamilton County Highway Department and Dr. Arrowood has discussed with area superintendents on road conditions in districts that touch HHSC as well County Safety Manager. They are hopeful that roads will be plowed in the next two hours. Dr. Arrowood contacts notification team to send out delay information.
o 6:00 am- Mr. Franklin has been plowing parking lots and begins to drive roads again. Dr. Arrowood begins to drive roads again as well. They discover that east and west roads have been plowed and north and south roads that have not been plowed but can safely be traveled. Mr. Franklin talks again with Hamilton County Highway department and they confirm they have plows out.
o 6:45 am- Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood confirm that HHSC can safely get students to school. Dr. Arrowood has talked with Superintendents from Frankton-Lapel, Noblesville, and Sheridan to confirm that areas on those sides of our districts are safe. These schools have all been on delay and have all decided it is safe to transport students.
· Example Day #2 – This is a road condition and temperature event so this process actually starts on the previous day.
o 12 pm previous day- Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood discuss the prediction of extreme cold temperatures for next day. For consistency purposes Dr. Arrowood uses the guideline of predicted below 0 degree Fahrenheit air temperature at 7 am and/or below -10 degree Fahrenheit wind-chill for a delay. HHSC rarely cancels because of temperature. The theory being that the safest place for some of our students in cold weather during regular school hours is at school and often the only place they can get a warm meal. Unfortunately, this warm meal is the only warm meal they will have that day. Temperature does have an impact on the ability of our transportation fleet to run and start effectively thus Dr. Arrowood typically will only delay because of temperature.
o 2 pm (approximately) previous day- A wind-chill advisory for the next day is issued by the National Weather Service. Dr. Arrowood discusses with area Superintendents as well as with Mr. Franklin. The decision is made to delay school for 2 hours on the next day. The 2 hour delay allows Mr. Franklin time to make sure all busses are running as well as 3 spares. It also allows busses to run their routes in daylight which increases the likelihood of on time pick up. Predictions also indicate that the temperature will rise during the 2 hour delay. Dr. Arrowood instructs our notification team to send out notifications at 5 pm.
o 6:15 am- Mr. Franklin contacts Dr. Arrowood and informs him that road conditions have deteriorated over night. Dr. Arrowood drives eastern part of district.
o 6:30- Dr. Arrowood communicates with area superintendents. Boone County roads have drifted over in Sheridan and they decide to cancel. Noblesville confirms that road conditions are safe on the south side of the HHSC district and north side of the Noblesville district. Dr. Arrowood confirms that road conditions are safe on west side of SR 19.
o 7:00 – Dr. Arrowood makes the decision to have school as he is confident that roads can safely be traveled and that all busses are running as well as spares. The air temperature is also above 0 at this time and is predicted to rise throughout the day.
· Example Day #3- This is a road condition and temperature event so this process actually starts on the previous day.
o 12 pm- Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood discuss the prediction of extreme cold temperatures for the next day. A wind-chill warning for the next day has been issued by the National Weather Service. Dr. Arrowood discusses with area Superintendents as well as with Mr. Franklin. The decision is made to delay school for 2 hours on the next day. The hope is that it will be above 0 air temperature and above -10 wind-chill by 10 am the next day and school can be in session. Attendance for today is running at 93% compared to normal 96% and buses were able to get to school and home safely. Dr. Arrowood informs the notification team to send out delay at 7 pm.
o 5 am- Dr. Arrowood communicates with area superintendents. Dr. Arrowood shares theory that it will be warmer at 10 am. Southern Hamilton Schools are all going to cancel because of extreme windchill conditions and they don’t agree with Dr. Arrowood’s prediction. Boone County Zionsville shares Dr. Arrowood’s opinion of being consistent, if we went previous day we should go today. Southern Hamilton stands firm and all decide to cancel.
o 6:30 – Dr. Arrowood makes the decision to cancel. Current air temperature is -6.
o 10:23 – Current air temperature is -3 with windchill of -23.
· Example Day #4- This started out as a road condition only event. Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood discussed weather predictions on the previous evening. Temperature predictions were to be above 0 air temperature or above -10 windchill at 7 am so no delay notification is sent out on previous evening.
o 4 am- Mr. Franklin and Dr. Arrowood are driving roads. Mr. Franklin reports that roads are safe to drive for students and I concur. Dr. Arrowood discusses with Superintendents in Sheridan, Noblesville, and Western Boone. Noblesville has no concerns. Sheridan and Western Boone both have concerns about the county roads in Boone County.
o 4:30 am- Mr. Franklin reports that he is aware of a heating issue at HHHS. Dr. Arrowood contacts Director of Maintenance and Maintenance Team Member and asks for an update. Both are in route to investigate.
o 4:55 am- Maintenance Team Member contacts Dr. Arrowood that we will need a two hour delay because of the heating issue at HHHS. Dr. Arrowood contacts notification team and call for a 2 hour delay.
o 12:14 pm- Current air temperature is 8. HHHS was able to be opened after 2 hour delay. Buses all arrived at school safely. Current road conditions are safe for travel.