School officials face tough decision in severe weather - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

School officials face tough decision in severe weather

Dr. John Niblett Dr. John Niblett

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - When a severe weather system threatens, local school officials have to decide whether to cancel or dismiss classes early. It's not a simple choice as many school principals can testify, but what goes into making that decision? 

Predicting the weather isn't an easy task for trained meteorologists, so it's certainly not for school administrators who are tasked with the "do we stay open or do we close?" situation.

"This is an inexact science," said Montgomery County Public School spokesman Tom Salter. On this day Montgomery County public school officials did decide to dismiss some schools early; Dunbar Middle School and Pintlala Elementary were let out at 2pm.

The system's reasoning? "Because of road conditions, and there are lots of creeks and rivers near those two schools," said Salter.

Down the interstate at Hooper Academy, Headmaster Dr. John Niblett decided the same thing. He dismissed classes at 1:30. "I have more than 400 students to think about," said Niblett. For Niblett, it was he alone who made the call.

Back in Tom Salter's office, a team of four people made the decision. Together, they poured over radar images, consulted with the National Weather Service and watched WSFA 12 News meteorologists' predictions. They gathered all the information they needed and, in essence, ran it up the flagpole. "The superintendent makes the call," said Salter.

It's a call that often comes with complaints from parents who believe school officials over-react. Salter says that comes with the job of managing some 32,000 students. "We're not going to please everyone," he said.

"You make a decision and know not everyone will be happy," agreed Niblett.

Niblett and the county aren't the only ones who made the call, so did scores of other schools throughout the WSFA 12 News viewing area.

The choice was either to bet against the storm or play it safe. More than a few chose the latter.

  • EducationMore>>

  • SPLC founder Morris Dees headlines Troy symposium

    SPLC founder Morris Dees headlines Troy symposium

    Wednesday, March 22 2017 11:08 PM EDT2017-03-23 03:08:21 GMT

    A well-known civil rights lawyer was the keynote speaker at Troy University's annual journalism symposium Wednesday. Organizers said they invited Morris Dees because of his long history of fighting for the rights of individuals, including journalists.

    More >>

    A well-known civil rights lawyer was the keynote speaker at Troy University's annual journalism symposium Wednesday. Organizers said they invited Morris Dees because of his long history of fighting for the rights of individuals, including journalists.

    More >>
  • ALSDE moves forward with lead testing in public school drinking water

    ALSDE moves forward with lead testing in public school drinking water

    Wednesday, March 22 2017 3:30 PM EDT2017-03-22 19:30:06 GMT
    Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News)Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News)

    The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has sent a memorandum to school system superintendents state-wide about the agency’s plan to assist all public schools in testing school drinking water for lead contamination. 

    More >>

    The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has sent a memorandum to school system superintendents state-wide about the agency’s plan to assist all public schools in testing school drinking water for lead contamination. 

    More >>
  • Do your homework when it comes to college financials

    Do your homework when it comes to college financials

    Wednesday, March 22 2017 2:54 PM EDT2017-03-22 18:54:45 GMT
    (Source: NBC File Video)(Source: NBC File Video)

    It's about the time of year that college acceptance letters are going in the mail. 

    More >>

    It's about the time of year that college acceptance letters are going in the mail. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly