Superintendent explains decision to close school for four days

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - Some Sharp County students had not gone back to school by Thursday after a snowstorm moved through Region 8 Monday night.

The Highland School District superintendent said they've gotten some questions about why the school was still closed Thursday despite the main roads in town being clear for several days already.

He said they have to take into account the safety of all students.

The district has students from a 325-square mile area and many of them live down gravel roads.

"A lot of roads that face the north, a lot of trees covering them," Superintendent Don Sharp said. "And even the days when the sun is out, if the temperatures are not warm they see very little melting."

So, while the main streets might be clear, several of the roads that buses would have to go down are still covered with snow and ice.

That is why they have erred on the side of caution this week.

Another suggestion that Sharp has heard is to run snow routes, which the district may look at in the future, but he said they still pose a problem.

"Well it's something we've never really developed here at Highland because so many of our students live down the dirt roads and out that way and if you just run the main roads, I think we're gonna exclude a lot of our students," Sharp said. "But we're gonna spend some time with our transportation department and get some data on that."

Highland did use three AMI days this week but chose to use a built-in snow day Thursday.

Sharp said they didn't want to overwhelm parents and students with the work and they hoped to give kids a chance to enjoy a day off.

On Friday, the school will be open, but certain bus routes will not run. For information on which roads are affected, check out the district's Facebook page.

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