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District’s snow team balances safety and educational mission

CASTLE ROCK – Early in the morning on a snow day, members of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) “Snow Team” call in. At 4 a.m. they begin discussing the weather conditions, reports from DCSD bus drivers and maintenance crews who have been up overnight clearing powder from school parking lots and test-driving routes across the District.
The Snow Team is made up of representatives from several DCSD departments, including Operations, Transportation, Facilities, Security and Community Relations. Their job is to provide a recommendation to the Superintendent regarding whether a delay or a closure is necessary—for the District as a whole or regionally.
In addition to safety, we also have a responsibility to balance the impact that our decision had on families and on our work-- educating students.
It’s a decision that they take very seriously. Before providing a recommendation, there is a lot of deliberation and the team receives reports from bus drivers, facility personnel and even the Douglas County roads crews, who provide information about road and weather conditions across the District.
Following this weekend’s big snowstorm, a decision was made early Sunday evening to place schools on a 90-minute delay. The Snow Team still gathered on Monday morning to consider whether a closure was needed. While it was cold and roads were slick in places, weather and driving conditions were quickly improving.
The delay will provide road and facility crews with additional time to clear access to schools, including sidewalks and parking lots at on our properties. We also expect sunshine and warmer temperatures by the delayed opening time, which should further improve conditions.
During Colorado winters, snow and ice is to be expected. We encourage everyone within the District to drive extremely cautiously on days like today. Those that do not feel comfortable driving in these conditions or are inexperienced should consider alternate transportation options. 
As always, safety comes first-- if parents choose to keep children home for safety concerns, we will respect that decision.
Updates regarding delays or closures are placed on the District’s website,  DCSD's App and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category: Transportation

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