Are there specific guidelines for cancelling classes or late starts during the winter? The answer is simple, the only guideline is what is safest for the children.
During a winter that has seen nine - two hour late starts, one early dismissal and three days with classes cancelled (thus far), the Hancock School board and administration have been asked this question on a few occasions. Principal Tim Pahl told the board members Monday night that he takes into consideration first and foremost, keeping the students safe.
The late starts and cancellations are not always for the same reason. Extreme cold, thick fog, icy roads as well as blizzard conditions, can all lead to changes in the schedule. It just so happens that this year we have seen our share of each of these conditions.
Pahl added that on each day where school has been canceled or started late, he has driven out into the rural area to check the conditions before making the call. In fact, on one of these checks, he got stuck and then decided on a late start.
The two-hour late starts do not have to be made up but have been cause for some concern by teachers. It was suggested at a meeting between board members and some teachers to rotate the first two hours of classes rather than shorten each class period on these days. The administration will be looking into this but felt that shortening all the classes was the best and least confusing option.
The board reviewed the school calendar for the cancelled days. If addition days are needed, they will be added after Memorial Day.