School delays and cancellations come every year, and a lot of effort goes into making those tough decisions.
Ed DiSabato, the superintendent at Glendale School District said, “Early morning calls from the bus contractors, email communications with local superintendents, talking to people at PennDOT, local weather officials, trying to make educated decisions, that keep our students safe.”
Arlen Sanden, who is the Fullington Director of School Bus Operations told us, “Sure, sure, we got somebody out on the roads probably about 3:30 – 4:00 AM. We drive the roads, we monitor back to the schools, we work very closely with our school districts. If we let them know that it is just to icy, we can ask for a two hour delay or possibly a closure.”
The biggest factor in these decisions is road conditions and timing.
Dr. Robert Gildea, the superintendent of Hollidaysburg Area School District
had this to say, “For instance we cover a part of Blue Knob, as do many school districts in our area. The road conditions can be perfectly fine in the borough in Hollidaysburg, where there is no precipitation or the precipitation is rain, but when you travel to Blue Knob, that rain was snow, and they could have three to four inches on the ground.”
It can even be a sunny day, but if it is too cold, buses may not start, potentially causing a delay of school.
Arlen Sanden, told us this, “Anytime it gets below 15 degrees, the diesel fuel, it has like paraffin wax in it. It does happen to gel up, or it turns more into a goo, instead of a liquid and we got additives we add to the fuel tanks, to hopefully break that up so that they run better.”
Clearly, Children’s safety is number one, and there is always a team working tirelessly through storms to make sure everyone stays safe .