When weather impacts if Indianapolis Public Schools will open, close or delay for the day, a whole team of professionals are behind that careful decision.
Five drivers—three from IPS and two from Durham School Services, the district’s transportation contractor—are out on the streets early. They drive in five different areas of the district, on both main streets and side roads, to get as complete a picture of conditions as possible. And four of these five drivers are former bus drivers themselves, ones with several years of experience judging that line between safe and unsafe.
On January 6 Kristin Cutler, Media Relations Coordinator for the Public Relations Division of IPS, rode along with Scott Martin, the Deputy Superintendent for Operations, to get a first-hand look at the district’s weather-related decision making process. Here’s what she saw:
By the time the team confers with Dr. Ferebee, they have combined hours of driving in and observing current conditions that morning with their years of experience and their assessment of what weather is still looming into their recommendation.
On January 6 the decision was to proceed with regular schedule. But it’s clear many factors play into this decision: amount and type of precipitation, temperature/wind chill, status of clearing roads, status of clearing sidewalks, refreeze of melted snow/ice from previous day, blowing snow and continued snow in forecast.
The school open, close or delay decision is truly the product of a team of professionals doing their best to keep IPS students and families safe when weather becomes hazardous and one more example of the district’s commitment to service excellence to our community.