The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

Snow days & delays

Students look forward to the days that school is canceled or delayed, but it can be a stressful time for the administration. 

“It is always a little tense. There is never an easy decision, and it’s really hard and stressful. I will say the absolute hardest decision is when students are already at school and we have to send them home early. It is also hard when the weather starts at five or six in the morning because we never know how much it is actually going to snow. The news could tell us what the weather forecast is and what is going to happen, but it is not always accurate,” Dr. Terry Terhune, superintendent, said. 

Greenwood schools are fortunate to have e-learning days available, so cancellations do not have the huge effect they used to. 

“If we have a snow day, then we can go to our synchronous or asynchronous e-learning days. It just depends if we know ahead of time, but I do not think we will add any days to the end of the year. I think it is all built-in with our schedule. If we have to do an e-learning day, we can apply for a waiver, but usually those are granted. So, hopefully it doesn’t change up any vacation time or add any days to the end of the school year,” Mr. Michael Gasaway, principal, said. 

The cancellation of school seems abrupt for students sometimes, but it is an overall organized process.

“If there is bad weather, then we have people that go out and check the roads. The superintendent gets info from people who check the roads, transportation director, police officers, and then they will determine whether it is safe or not to have the buses out on the road and student drivers. Then they will make a call early in the morning regarding any school delays or cancellations,” Mr. Gasaway said.

Although the process seems simple, there is a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes.

“We watch the news for the forecasts. We get weather forecasts just like any average person. We start looking about seven days out. The closer the storms get the better the information is. What we do is just talk a lot internally. We have an operations director, and he is always helpful. We also work with the other county schools. We talk a lot leading up to the storm. Timing is a big deal, and we communicate as well as we can,” Dr. Terhune said. 

The day of the storm starts early in the morning for staff and involves a lot of different factors to come to a final decision.

“That day between three and four in the morning, I will drive on the roads, and the operation instructor gets up and will drive to different parts of the city as well. He lives towards the middle school, and I live towards Northeast and Isom, so we drive around our areas to see what the conditions are. After we finish, we will get on the phone and discuss what we saw. Then, I would talk to other superintendents probably about five in the morning, and we will start having conversations about what the other schools are doing so that we can stay as much alike as possible to lessen the confusion,” Dr. Terhune said.

Greenwood administration is efficient when it comes to giving out cancellation and delay messages.

  “Greenwood sends out their information early in the morning. We will send out an automated message to all the families, and the news channels will have the information as well,” Dr. Terhune said. 


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