Close? Delay? It can be a tough call for school districts

Research, judgment needed when snow falls

READING, Pa. - When bad weather rolls in, school district superintendents are faced with a tough decision. Should they delay, close, or dismiss early?

"We usually get started around — between 4, 4:30 [in the morning] and start evaluating what the weather conditions look like," said Andrew Potteiger, the superintendent of Brandywine Heights Area School District.

For Potteiger, that means getting behind the wheel himself.

"I like to go out in person and personally drive the roads so I can get a good feel for what it looks like," he told 69 News.

On Tuesday, Brandywine Heights was the only school district in Berks County that opened, but students were sent home early.

"I think everybody did a good job at taking their time. I've even worked with some kids who said the bus drivers drove extra slow and took their time," said Hodel Hitwer, who works for the district and has children who attend its schools.

Some parents said it's one less snow make-up day they have to worry about.

"It is really nice not to have to drag out the end of the school year," said Crystal Stanistreet, a parent.

Potteiger said the other superintendents go through a similar decision-making process, and they also stay in touch with each other.

"The superintendents in the county do a great job of communicating with each other either via email or text," Potteiger said. "Then, at the same time, we're also communicating with our own staff and the busing companies."

To see the full list of closings or delays, visit the 69 News StormCenter

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