Fore Note: The statement below was released last Friday after the unexpected snowy weather hit suddenly Friday morning. Many questioned why school had not been canceled. Mr. Vance did the best he could with the information he had. As far as I know, when all was said and done, we didn't loose a single child.

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Obviously, this morning was an unusual one. On days like these I typically get up around 4:30 to check roads, call emergency responders and law enforcement officials to gather their opinions on road conditions. I also consult with meteorologists to determine weather or not to have school on a regular schedule, delay, or to cancel school.

Even though I went through these steps, I missed the appropriate decision for morning as we should have went on... a delay. I made the best decision that I could at the time with the information that was available. I did not believe it was going to snow in Loudon County. I thought if it did snow it would only be a dusting and not impact the driving conditions.

After I dropped my children off at school it was spitting snow. One of my children encouraged me to call off school; they often encourage me to call off school even if it isnít snowing . I still didnít think that conditions would be negative enough to impact drivers.

Once it started snowing hard around 7:20 it was too late to consider calling off school. At this point, school buses were on routes and had already dropped off several kids at school. Many of our studentsí parents leave for work after they get on the bus and this would have put these students in a challenging position.

After considering several factors I decided it was best to excuse students from being tardy, absent, or those who were checked out early for today. I also felt it was appropriate to wait until conditions got better before we sent kids home. To dismiss at 8:00 was not a viable option, in my opinion, as the roads were becoming too slick for me to be comfortable putting buses back out on the roads with kids, especially after hearing that it was suppose to get warmer throughout the day and the roads were expected to be clear at afternoon dismissal.

I apologize for any inconveniences todayís weather caused in your early morning drop off. I hope you and your family have a great weekend.

Jason Vance
Director of Schools