CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) – The potential for icy roads to form overnight has school officials thinking about the commute for students and staff Friday morning.
Conway Public School said they are keeping a close eye on the roads to make sure it is safe for buses and cars to pick up students.
"One of my biggest fears is that we get a bus load of kids on the roads and have an accident. We take it very serious,” Assistant Superintendent Carroll Bishop said.
Bishop said anytime bad weather is on the way, he is pretty much up all night.
"I will get out at 2 in the morning if it looks like there's problems with the roads. We feel like there's a chance there's a hazard to our bus and kids then we will close school,” Bishop said.
He said a maintenance and transportation supervisor help him assess the roads. They go to work about 4 a.m. to start checking schools and bus routes.
“If it looks like enough problems to close school, then I’ll call [the Superintendent] and he’ll get out and we’ll talk back and forth and at that point in time we’ll make a determination,” Bishop said.
Bishop said his biggest concerns are the side streets and neighborhoods where it's difficult for snow plows and salt trucks to get through.
“Even when the closest in town roads may be salted and safe, we have to think about those rural roads that may not be,” Communication Specialist Heather Kendrick said.
She said the district tries to call off school as early as possible.
"It's our goal to make the call by 5 a.m. We are most of the time up early, early in the morning. Transportation supervisor and assistant superintendent are driving those roads and making the call,” Kendrick said.
Bishop said it is important to call off school as early as possible to parents can make arrangements for their kids.
"We do everything possible to make sure that they have a safe ride to school and the parents can drive to school safely. Top priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Bishop said.
Kendrick said if Conway Public Schools does cancel, parents and students will be notified on the district's app.
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