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When Is It A Snow Day?
By Mike Scott
So far this winter, Clark County R-1 students have missed four days of school because of the weather. How does the school district decide when to have a snow day?
“The whole process starts at about 4:00AM,” said CCR-1 Superintendent Ritchie Kracht. Kracht checks the weather forecast on the internet before heading out and actually driving several roads.
“There is not specific science to it. I hit 136 and 81 first, and then go on to some of the lettered roads and gravel roads,” he said. “I hit the brakes to see how much I slide, and see how hard it is to get moving again.”
Kracht also calls other school superintendents in Canton and Memphis to see what their road conditions and weather is like, and what might be coming our way.
“It’s all about student safety,” said Kracht. “We make a decision if it safe for our busses to travel, and we keep in mind that we have a lot of 16 and 17 year old drivers that don’t have a lot of experience driving in snow.”
Kracht also calls the school superintendents in Luray and Revere to let them know if CCR-1 is closing. They make their own decisions on closing, but usually follow CCR-1’s lead.
The Missouri Department of Transportation prioritizes the roads it plows. In Clark County, most of the resources go to maintaining Hwy. 27/61 first, then Hwy. 136. By the time they get to rural roads, it could be too late for school traffic.
Just a couple weeks ago, of the CCR-1 busses got stuck in a ditch after getting over to allow another vehicle to pass. The road was not plowed, and the driver couldnt see the edge of the road.
“If something like that happens, we have a couple busses kept inside and ready to go, so we can send another bus quickly. Student’s wouldn’t have to wait on the bus very long,’ Kracht said.
While the district has missed four days, only three need to be made up at this time. Those make-up days are March 11, April 21, and May 19.
“If we have any more days off, they’ll be added on to the end of the school year,” Kracht said.