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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • R-5 superintendent outlines snow day determination

  • Many factors go into determining whether the Neosho R-5 School District will have school or if Superintendent Dan Decker will declare a snow day.
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  • Many factors go into determining whether the Neosho R-5 School District will have school or if Superintendent Dan Decker will declare a snow day.
    Decker said he, Assistant Superintendent Tim Crawley, Transportation Director Jacque Faulkner and Michelle Embrey, transportation assistant, each drive a different section of the school district in the morning and in the afternoon after a major winter weather event, such as last week’s snow and ice accumulation. But it’s more than slick roads the quartet are seeking.
    “Most generally, we try to drive each area of the district and make a determination whether our buses can make safe stops at the bus stops, and if they can get going again. We’ve seen a lot of country roads that will go down a hill and have a 90 degree turn at the bottom. And we take into account how cold it will be in the morning. For instance this morning [Wednesday], it was 8 degrees. If a bus does slide off, you’ll have kids out. Also if you’re having to run the route slow, you’ll have several kids standing around at the bus stops in that.”
    The four make the circuit each morning and again in the afternoon, then confer on their findings before making a decision whether to cancel school the following day.
    Decker said since the district has missed four days as of mid-afternoon Wednesday, it will add four days onto the end of the school year. Originally, Neosho R-5 students were scheduled to get out of school on May 16. However, with the snow days so far, the end of the school year stood at May 22 as of Wednesday afternoon, and could lengthen more.
    The superintendent said each district has a total of seven snow days which must be made up on a one-to-one basis. For every day missed, a day must be made up. But after than, the makeup days are on a two-to-one basis, with a day make up for every two snow days missed, up until 10 days. After that, the state steps in and no additional makeup days are required, he said.
    Decker said determining snow days wasn't something the district took lightly, and he hoped that a combination of road crews clearing snow and ice and sunshine and warmer temperatures made a difference on rural roads.
    “We're going to try to get the students back in as soon as we can,” he said.

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