Dear RPS Families,
- Routes 8, 11, 18 and 26 have been canceled for the morning.
- Route 8 will be running 20-30 minutes late this afternoon, but the other routes will be running as scheduled.
- Vans and small vehicles through TCT have been canceled today.
Canceling school is a complicated decision that impacts students, staff and families. Our schools provide students with a safe and stable place to learn and some students rely on us for meals during the week. In addition, canceling school can cause some families hardships when it comes to finding childcare for younger children.
When making the decision, some of the factors considered include:
- The safety and well-being of students and staff
- Severity of the weather
- Timing of weather (overnight, weekend, etc.)
- The ability for buses and cars to travel safely
We continually monitor the forecast from the National Weather Service and I meet with other superintendents from across the metro to make the best decision possible for our students, staff and families with the information available at the time. Today, I knew that other districts were divided about canceling school, staying open or starting with a 2-hour delay due to icy road conditions.
My team and I work to announce decisions regarding any school delays or school closures by 5:45 a.m. so families can make any scheduling arrangements necessary if students will not be in school. With the weather forecast and road condition information that was available at that time, I made the decision to keep schools open as scheduled.
Unfortunately, after that time window, we became aware of staffing limitations due to road conditions outside of the immediate area, which caused us to have to cancel routes and other services provided by our transportation partners. Additionally, road conditions did not improve as quickly as anticipated, which caused delays on a number of our routes. With that information earlier, we likely would have either delayed school or held an e-learning day, but we were concerned about the impact on all of our families and staff members who may not have been anticipating a change that late in the morning.
As superintendents, one of the more stressful decisions we have to make is about closing schools based on weather conditions. As I said, we do the best we can with the information available to us at the time.
I apologize for the inconvenience many students, staff and families faced today. All student absences will be excused today. Please follow your school’s protocol for reporting your child’s absence.
Superintendent Steven Unowsky