School closure decision making by superintendents

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – As residents in northwest Alabama woke up Tuesday to no snow on the ground, a couple of thoughts probably went through their head. One of those being why did schools go ahead and cancel classes the day before?

Inside Mrs. South’s first grade classroom at Colbert Heights Elementary, everything seemed to be back on track Wednesday morning fresh off a snow day.

Superintendent Gale Satchel

“Just so happened that God didn’t want us to have snow, nor did He want us to have ice, and I’m okay with His decision,” stated Colbert County Schools Superintendent Gale Satchel.

And most would agree. Satchel says she attends numerous meetings leading up to any weather event. She gets her forecasts during briefings with the National Weather Service.

“It is the toughest decision I ever have to make,” stated Satchel. “That is the decision that I lose sleep over many nights before.”

Satchel gathers all the information she can before a decision to cancel is made. Her deciding factor comes down to the safety of everyone. And the superintendent says calling school the day before gives parents time and options.

“As a mother myself, I would rather have more time to plan as opposed to two hours to decide what I’m going to do.”

As for the kids in class on Wednesday, they didn’t seem to mind staying at home on Tuesday.

With Governor Kay Ivey declaring a state of emergency before the forecasted event, school system’s do not have to make up days missed because of weather – just the work.

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