9/18/18 ABSS defends Monday’s 2-hour delay

ABSS defends Monday’s 2-hour delay
Make-up days, school meals and buses affected decision
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 9/18/18    
Reprinted with permission.      

The Alamance-Burlington School System received backlash Monday, Sept. 17, for operating on a two-hour delay instead of closing school with heavy rains still expected from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

But Public Information Officer Jenny Faulkner told the Times-News in an email exchange, Monday, the decision was not made lightly.

It was reached after consulting or gathering information from the National Weather Service, Alamance County Central Communications, Alamance County Emergency Management, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Duke Energy in the pre-dawn hours.

“Starting two hours later allowed more daylight for driver visibility in the rain as well as more time for weather crews that worked overnight to remove tree limbs and debris from the higher winds earlier in the day,” Faulkner wrote. “We did have a small number of our approximately 400 morning bus routes that were detoured early today where DOT blocked portions of some roads as a safety precaution due to a downed tree or water pooling on the road. All 152 buses arrived at schools this morning after the 2-hour delay safely and without issue. We did have one bus experience a mechanical failure on Huffman Mill Road this morning that was not related to any weather issues.”

School systems to the south and east of Alamance are facing multiple makeup days thanks to Florence. And make-up days are a challenge to fit into the fall semester, so the less there are the better, Faulkner added.

Administrators have not yet determined the makeup schedule for the missed day on Friday, Sept. 14.

“ABSS is more fortunate than many other North Carolina school districts as our students have missed only one day through the multiple days of this weather event,” Faulkner said. “While any schedule disruption creates an inconvenience for families, we have been able to operate on a safe and relatively routine schedule that is especially important for families that depend on school breakfast and lunch meals each day for their children.”