Madison City Schools superintendent explains the process to determine school delays

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MADISON, Ala. - Most Tennessee Valley school districts had late starts on Tuesday and some districts are going the same route Wednesday morning. So, what goes into making that final call?

Madison City Schools says cold weather by itself doesn't typically lead to a delay or cancellation.

"If there had been no precipitation, I would not have delayed school. It is going to be really cold in the morning. There are no plans to delay school in the morning. It's going to be really cold so everyone needs to bundle up," said Madison Superintendent Robby Parker.

Parker gets up early and tests the road before the buses head out.

"I think the road was probably OK, but I got out to make sure with our 2-hour delay that the buses would be OK 2-hours later," said Parker.

There's a difference between Parker's car and a bus filled with students. Not to mention teachers could be driving from other areas. Don't forget about inexperienced new drivers from the high schools too.

"There's also a big difference between me at 55-years-old, riding very carefully and over 1,000 teenage drivers that we have at James Clemens and Bob Jones."

The district typically has a good handle on when the weather could impact school. They try to get ahead of it by about three days on average.

Parker says the district tries to notify parents the night before any inclement weather that could impact getting to school. As much as they would like to wait and get clarity, Parker points to the hassles parents have trying to find childcare last second.

As far as Wednesday, the weather is expected to be colder than Tuesday, the district says students can wait inside cars or houses until the bus pulls up.

"Our procedure is to sit a little longer at the bus stop to make sure everybody can get on. To do a double, triple and quadruple check to make sure no one else is trying to get on," said Parker.

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