Why arctic weather causes school delays - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Why arctic weather causes school delays

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The weather delays could mean makeup days later in the year, but school officials said plans are in place. The weather delays could mean makeup days later in the year, but school officials said plans are in place.
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

The arctic blast in North Alabama forced many schools in the Valley to delay the start of classes Friday morning. Some schools started two or three hours late, but what do school leaders base those decision on? We found out it comes out to a number of things; mainly, whatever is safest for the students and the equipment.

School leaders in Athens chose to delay the start of classes in his district on Friday by two hours when the temperatures dropped to the single digits. 

"It's always our number one concern to be focused on what's best and safest for our students, but there are a lot of factors in place," said Terry Roller with Athens City Schools.  

Those factors include making sure the buildings are heated enough for students, the buses are able to run properly in the cold, and being in agreement with the surrounding school districts. Roller said starting a few hours late can make a difference. 

"Sometimes it's as much as a 10 degree increase in temperature when you wait two hours," he added. "Plus, the sun is up, it's better visibility, and people can see some of the hazards you can't see when it's as dark.

The weather delays could mean makeup days later in the year, but Roller said there are plans in place.

"If we ever get to the point where we have too many snow days or delays, then we will reschedule days later in the year and make up that instructional time."

Roller said school leaders have not made a decision about classes for next week. He said as soon as they decide, they will alert their parents by phone and social media.

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