Trick or treating in the snow…who’d of “thunk” it. I remember one such Halloween about 26 or 27 years ago when our daughters were about 4 and 5 years old.  Of course, they don’t seem to remember thus it is causing a stir with them. We simply chuckle. 

Snow on Halloween adds an interesting twist to the season.  Costumes were largely abandoned for coats and boots. The visits were few as the drive for often sugary treats was lost on the effort demanded to get in and out of the car.

The early snow is a not so gentle reminder that making sure we are all as prepared as we can be for the winter that is upon us is worthy of our attention. Each school district’s transportation needs and systems are unique to the district, but the safety of all students is foremost for all. 

Modern technologies have made the prediction of impending weather more accurate though I am unsure if it will ever be an exact science.  To that end, we monitor the weather predictions. I use NOAA Weather Service as my key resource.  From there I discuss the realtime conditions and considerations with other area superintendents as well as our buildings and grounds staff as our parking lots have to be able to be cleared in a timely manner.

If we decide to cancel or delay the start of school, we work to have that communicated to you by about 6:00 am.  Sometimes, though, conditions shift quickly and we have to make a later call. We work not to, but that is our reality.  What looks good at 5:30 am…may not at 7:00…

Once a decision is made to cancel, delay, or release school early a message is sent through JMC phone, text, and email.  It is also released to Channels 4 WHBF, 6 KWQC, 8 WQAD, and 3 KTVO. It is also released to local radio stations as well as TriState radio of Macomb, IL.

One of my frets of this job is always tied to often rapidly changing weather conditions and young drivers. I encourage parents to closely monitor the weather and take measures, as possible, to minimize the risks for their students during these months.  From a logistics point, I much prefer and support for students to leave their vehicle parked in the school lot if they or their parents are not comfortable with them driving it home and that a parent or guardian then pick them up from here.

As the majority of our students being transported to school by their parents, others or self,  the vigilant attention and cautious actions of our drivers is critical to everyone’s safety. Please be alert and patient during the drop-off and pick up of students. 

I’d be remiss if I did not remind everyone to vote for the school board in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 5th.  Strong school boards are vital to the success of schools. 

Thanks for sharing your children with us and for your support of the West Burlington Independent School District.

Lisa Beames