Superintendent measures multiple factors in weighing weather delays

It is now midwinter and there have already been a couple of weather delays and weather cancellations at the CF community school district, and with each weather event, Superintendent Andy Pattee weighs the conditions and determines whether to delay or cancel. 

Typically a wind chill warning will cause the District to delay or cancel,” Pattee said. “The National Weather Service issues a watch, advisory and a warning, and in the case of windchill, the warning can cause frostbite to occur quickly on exposed skin. If this happens, the district will delay or cancel school.”  

“Air temperatures can also cause the District to delay or cancel. Typically air temperature at or below -15 degrees F. There is a concern that diesel lines in our bus fleet may freeze, which causes them to no longer operate until the fuel line thaws,”  Patee said.  

The cancellations and delays for each district vary. “The weather can fluctuate dramatically between districts, especially with air temperatures. Different decisions would occur if -16 was the temperature in one location versus -12 in another. Another factor would be where/what the windchill warning covers (one county and not the next) and when the windchill warning expires,” Patee said.  

Temperature isn’t the only factor that Pattee uses to measure whether there will be school: how icy the roads are also weighs in on his scale. “ I drive the roads (city and rural) as will our transportation director. We are in constant contact, as well as communicating with other school officials and at times including the county and city maintenance staff,” Patee said.  

Patee said he tries to reach his conclusion as quickly as he can so families can make plans, but “there is not a set time,” he said. “We have worked the last few years to have decisions made the night before to better inform families to ensure they can make plans accordingly.”

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