A MESSAGE FROM TERRY BOUCK, SUPERINTENDENT: November 9, 2014
Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members:
There is a chill in the air in Montana and in fact weather forecasters are predicting 5 – 6 inches of snow this week. Therefore I am sending our inclement weather information to our families and staff a second time in preparation for what might be a cold and snowy week and school year. As I always communicate to our parents, we respect that parents must make the final decision on whether or not their children attend school during severe weather conditions. Thank you in advance for thoroughly reading the information below.
INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS
During the winter storm season, people often wonder about delays or why buses run late. The Billings Public Schools’ 16,000 students live within a large area where road conditions often vary widely during severe weather conditions. We consider road conditions and all other information available when deciding whether to operate on normal bus routes or alternate bus stops. If buses are on alternative routes or delays take place, we attempt to inform families through a variety of ways.
Communication with our Billings Public Schools’ families is paramount to our student and staff safety. Below is a brief list of resources parents may use to learn about alternative bus routes and other effects of adverse weather conditions.
- SchoolConnect System: automated telephone notification system notifies parents within 45 minutes of being launched. Parents need to be sure that all numbers are updated with their children’s schools. We recommend that you use your cell number for the SchoolConnect System. This allows parents to turn-off their phones if they do not want an early morning call regarding bus routes and potential delays.
- SD2 Emergency Information Line: Call 406-281-5193 for updates on severe weather conditions and emergencies.
- Stay connected with local TV and Radio Stations
- Access the Billings Public Schools Website for Periodic Weather Updates: http://billingsschools.org
- Occasionally we must use alternate bus routes during severe weather. Click here or visit the Billings School District Website at (http://www.billingsschools.org/Page/159) for our Severe Weather Transportation page to download Alternative Route brochure for your school. (Please note that we periodically update alternative bus routes. Please be sure to visit our website often to make sure you have the most up to date routes.)
Expect the bus to run late and be prepared for this event.
Please wait at the bus stop with your children until the bus picks them up. Students need the ability to get out of the elements in the event the bus is late.
Observe the following winter safety tips with your students who walk to and from the bus stops or schools:
Dress appropriately for cold weather – sweaters, pants, winter coats, hats, scarves, socks and boots. Even when on a bus, the bus may not heat well in extreme cold. The bus may break down or get stuck.
Allow extra travel time to get to the bus stop or school.
Wear bright jackets or coats so bus drivers can easily see you in the morning or evening.
Stand at least 10 steps away (or back from bus stops). Buses need extra room to stop when there is snow or ice.
Do not walk or play on snow mounds or ice within 10 feet of the roadway – you could fall and slip into the roadway and be at risk of being struck by a vehicle.
Do not cross the street at your bus stop until all traffic has come to a complete stop and the bus driver has signaled that it is safe to cross.
While we attempt to make the best, safest decisions for the entire district, we respect the fact that parents must make the final decision on whether their children attend school or not during severe weather conditions.
Terry Nelsen Bouck