New Hanover County Schools Superintendent explains why he closed schools Wednesday

POSTED TODAY ON THE NEW HANOVER COUNTY SCHOOLS WEBSITE BY DR. TIM MARKLEY:

Often times when I visit school and classrooms, I will ask students if they know what my job is as a superintendent. For the younger elementary students this can be a stumper, so I tell them about my responsibility to grade principals and other tasks. Then I tell them about closing schools due to weather. They get that aspect of the job very quickly. It is not aspect of the job I take lightly and for the most part, people understand the rational for the decision. Sometimes though, it can be hard to understand the reason for the decision. This past storm offers a prime example, Monday and Tuesday were obvious with snow on the ground and roads throughout the county, school was cancelled. We were also out Wednesday as well and for many of our parents that decision seemed less obvious.

The decision was made due to road conditions in the northern third of the county and the projected weather conditions over the next 24 hours. School transportation staff and I checked conditions in the northern end of the county. We found than many schools still had snow and lots of standing water on the entrance roads and in the parking lots. Many of the side roads that our buses travel are also still snow covered. Much of the standing water was expected to freeze tonight and temperatures will not get above freezing until well after 10:00am. Even with a two hour delay our students would have been outside before 8:am. We also run a number of special programs that have students moving from one end of the county to the other so that makes closing select schools impossible. Unlike northern states that deal with snow a regular basis the school system and the Transportation Department do not have the snow equipment to do all that is necessary to ensure student and staff safety, snow is not the norm for this area. Additionally, a number of our staff member do not live in the county and would have to travel here other counties that still have even more snow on the ground.

Hopefully this will be the extent of our snow this year. We will make a decision on make-up days as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

FROM http://www.nhcs.net/wordpress/timmarkley/2011/01/12/weather-calls-by-dr-...

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The only thing I have to say about this matter, it's better to be safe than sorry. If a bus or a student slid off the road, and someone died, you would have the same people blaming the School Board for not closing or delaying the school day(s). I would err on caution, because I think the stats speak for themselves over the years. I would rather have my son or daughter go to school for a make-up day on a Saturday, instead of having to go to the graveyard. You can't make that up.

I am appalled at the lack of correct grammar, punctuation and incorrect word usage in this statement. Did Dr. Markley write and submit this statement without anyone proofreading? Yikes! I understand his reasoning in keeping the schools closed another day, but he had better learn to express himself in a more professional manner befitting his position as the superintendent of our schools.

you dont sound very concerned about your children!! what on earth! who cares how he spells he was worried about our kids you psycho...
the safety of my children are all im worried about! hanover is a pretty big county..

I do not know the man personally and that is something that I do not care to change. However, I think that it is ridiculous to be so critical of his grammar and spelling. He has obviously earned his position. If your greatest dismay (the meaning of appalled) is the lack of correct grammar, punctuation and word usage then maybe you should rethink your stance. Also your sentence reads incorrectly. "I am appalled at the lack of ...........incorrect word usage" You wanted more incorrect word usage? You dislike the lack of it? You should have left out the word correct! Haha

Get an editor.

If we're supposed to teach process including editing and proofreading, shouldn't administration be the role model? "Rationale" is only one glaring problem. No, it's not nit-picking. It's the standard that we teach; therefore, we should hold ourselves to the standard.

The excerpted phrase, "...people understand the rational for the decision," contains a usage error. The correct word is "rationale."

Working with children in school can be a hard job, but when you have to watch out for bus loads of children on the roads it is very hard. No one wants to make up school days but we all want the children to get to school without an accident. By checking out the streets and watching the weather Dr Markley was doing his job... Children first should always be consider when making these choices..

Lets also not forget that you can't win with these types of decisions. If they had school today, people would be raising all kinds of hell about the schools putting the kids, parents, and staff at risk. Cancel school and you have upset the other half. Can't win.

Some people fail to realize that Castle Hayne got over 5 inches of snow than the other part of the county..side roads are a familiar part of the bus routes so I agree with the Superintendent in closing schools..why the companies in wilmington dont follow suit is beyond me..

...because they're in business to make money. Shutdowns hurt the bottom line - severely. Monday closings were understandable. Tuesday closings were rare and questionable. By Tuesday Noon, most roads were okay to drive on as long as you used some judgment.

Any company that closed today obviously doesn't want to make money at all.

It's been my observation that salaried employees want businesses to close when a dark cloud rolls overhead, but hourly wage earners have no problem getting to work with a foot of snow on the ground.

I think school should have been opened all week. That way parents would have had their free day care, free hot lunch, and the awesome babysitting that our teachers provide on a daily basis. The fact that the schools were closed hurt my bottom line tremendously, as I did not see the school buses making their morning rounds picking up the little ones who's parents can't wait to get rid of. I would love to have seen just a few buses slid into some other vehicles too. They are so big that the kids can fend for themselves.

Then again, it's just children. Why should we care? We care obviously more about our up to date modern correctional facilities anyway.

You sir or mam hit the nail on the head. Of all the complaints I heard about the kids being out of school, none included what the kids were missing in school. The only thing I heard repeatedly was the fact that they were tired of listening to Lady Gaga at home and how inconvenient this was for them. This is what happens when housewives get their entitled daycare and free time taken away from them because of bad weather.