As we enter the bad weather season, I wanted to remind everyone that they can use The Wawascene for immediate information on school delays and cancellations. When the decision is made to delay or cancel- it is instantly posted here. This site is guaranteed to beat all media outlets and all faculty phone chains. Barring last minute ice storms etc., this means it is normally posted here prior to 6:00 am. For those who use the radio, my second call goes to Hoosier 103.5. In all the years I have done this, I can never remember Bill Dixon getting the message wrong. I can't say that about other TV and radio programs. I do call 12 other media outlets. However, sometimes their internet connections and password protection programs are messed up and the message doesn't always get through and it doesn't always come through correctly.
Another benefit to The Wawascene is that I will often post a little information about the local road conditions we have encountered. And....when I blow the call I will grovel here and admit it. That has to be worth something.
For the benefit of those who don't already know, the following procedure explains how we make decisions:
4:00 AM: Director of Transportation checks actual road conditions starting at the north end of the district and drives to the southern end.
4:45 AM: When road conditions look troublesome, he calls the Superintendent (that's me :-) and the Business Manager, Jim Evans who goes to the office and monitors the media outlets and internet to see what conditions other schools are facing
5:20 AM: We all drive different areas and meet at the central office at 5:50 AM
5:50 AM: We compare conditions. Sometimes it is a no-brainer - but often it is hard to tell because conditions can vary widely across the district.
5:55 AM: After listening to all the opinions it is ultimately the superintendent's decision. We don't always agree, but we all drove the roads. I estimate on most days that up to 80 miles of local roads have been driven before decisions are made. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not look out my window and guess.What is the most difficult to deal with? Shifting fog, last minute freezing rain and bad timing make the decisions tough. Most of the time we are deciding one to two hours in advance what the road conditions are going to be later.
6:00 AM: We call all media outlets and start employee call chains.
Have a safe winter and drive carefully.
The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.
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