Weather delay process begins early in the morning

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Weather delay process begins early in the morning

Freshman Bella Anastasio stayed at the McGinley home to work on her e-learning assignments on the January e-learning day. Photo by Grace McGinley

Freshman Bella Anastasio stayed at the McGinley home to work on her e-learning assignments on the January e-learning day. Photo by Grace McGinley

Freshman Bella Anastasio stayed at the McGinley home to work on her e-learning assignments on the January e-learning day. Photo by Grace McGinley

Freshman Bella Anastasio stayed at the McGinley home to work on her e-learning assignments on the January e-learning day. Photo by Grace McGinley

Patrick Felts, Reporter

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During the last few months, weather has had a large impact on the school schedule. Snow, ice, and extremely freezing temperatures have caused e-learning days and two hour delays. When the phone rings notifying of a different plan for the school day, students must prepare accordingly, but the decision is not always as simple as it seems.

The process of a weather delay or cancellation begins in the early hours of the morning. Principal Mr. Joe Hansen says that he starts to gather information about road and parking lot conditions “as early as 4:00 A.M.” on days of potentially dangerous weather conditions. Mr. Hansen also credits groundskeeper Mr. Tom Mahaney and maintenance staff director Mr. Rick Leppert for arriving to school very early and helping him make an informed decision. Mr. Hansen confirms his final decision with vice principal Mr. Ben Reilly before informing the students of the situation, oftentimes through Twitter.

The decision is not one made with only input from the BCHS community. Mr. Hansen says that he is in constant contact with the principals of the nine North Deanery grade schools as well as a text thread with the principals of Brebeuf, Cathedral, Guerin, and Roncalli to help each other make well informed decisions based on weather conditions. While it is important to confer with other schools, Mr. Hansen said, “I won’t ever base my decision on what others do. Ultimately, the decision is ours and ours alone.”

Complete cancellations have been replaced by e-learning days, which count as school days with no need to reschedule. “E-learning days will be the choice for unsafe conditions unless students aren’t expecting a delay or cancellation and do not have their charged iPads,” said Mr. Hansen. “If this was the case, school would just cancel  make the day up at a later date.”

With these changing weather patterns, the number one priority for students continues to be safety. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, BCHS students received notification of a two-hour delay due to icy road conditions. Mr. Hansen ended the tweet announcement stating “please be careful.”