Public Safety

Elementary school classes canceled today in Cedar Rapids

(File photo) A Cedar Rapids Community School District bus at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
(File photo) A Cedar Rapids Community School District bus at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

Weather has caused a cancellation of classes in Cedar Rapids.

According to Akwi Nji, director of communications for the Cedar Rapids Community School District, all of elementary school classes have been canceled. A robocall has been issued to parents and guardians.

According to a news release, middle and high school classes are still scheduled as usual.

Superintendent Brad Buck sent out a letter to CRCSD staff and families, stating the reasoning behind the cancellation decisions.

“One of my responsibilities as Superintendent is to make the final call on weather delays, early outs, and cancellations. I don’t take that responsibility lightly,” he wrote in the email. “I understand that today’s decision may have caused some confusion and frustration. I’d like to share with you a variety of details regarding today’s weather and the related decisions around how to handle today’s school schedule.”

In the email, Buck went on to state that safe transportation was a major concern when deciding on cancellations, but that busses had already begun their routes before weather became an issue.

The first busses in the CRCSD fleet depart at around 5:50 a.m., according to Buck.

“Throughout this process, I had also been in communication with local meteorologists who are confident the conditions would be switching from ice to light flurries with little to no accumulation,” the email stated. “Our director of transportation was in communication with the City crews and took into consideration that while their first priority is treating main roads, they would be moving to side roads later in the day — early enough for most roads to be treated by middle school and high school dismissal times but likely not early enough for roads to be treated to warrant trying to transport elementary school students, even with a late start.”

As a reminder, the email also included a list of factors that are taken in to consideration when deciding on school delays and cancellations:

  • the timing of the weather event
  • what amount and type of precipitation are being predicted
  • the current temperatures and those that are being predicted
  • the timing of the changes in temperature as it relates to school start and end times
  • the possibility of a compounding event
  • feedback from the transportation director about the current state of the roads
  • the number of students who will be driving and that they are less experienced drivers

 

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“Based on all of those factors, and others, I do my best to have the decision in place before 5:30 a.m. for a late start or cancellation and by 10 a.m. for an early dismissal,” Buck wrote. “Again, safety is always the primary consideration in the overall thought process — and considerations of how to manage other factors such as transportation, child care, and academic days are folded into that conversation.”

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