Many schools remain closed Thursday for hazardous road conditions

IPS, Marion Co. public schools closed

INDIANAPOLIS - Most area schools, including Indianapolis Public Schools and all public schools in Marion County, will be closed again Thursday.

School officials spent most of the day Wednesday driving the roads to get a first-hand look at conditions to help them make the decision on whether or not to cancel school for one more day.

Transportation supervisor Doug Dickinson took a test run along the 112 miles of road the Franklin Community School buses will navigate.

MORE: School and business closings

"The truck we're in right now, we’ve got a lot of weight in here and a plow in the front," Dickinson said. "You’ve got to take for granted those buses are heavy, but they’ve got to be able to stop when they get to the bottom of those hills and be able to climb."

Hills aren't the only challenge. Are the lanes wide enough? Will the buses be able to avoid tree branches weighed down by the snow? Will the buses be able to turnaround, at their designated turnaround spots? Will parents be able to withstand kids being home from school another day?

Franklin Township Community School Corporation Superintendent Flora Reichanadter took a close look at the road conditions in her township -- from the main arteries to residential subdivisions.

"We are just not ready when it comes to the streets because we don't really have a safe place for our students to stand for buses," Reichanadter said.

For school leaders, postponing another day of classes came after lengthy discussions with transportation, custodial, building and grounds and operations staff.

"I look at, ‘Would I put my kids on the bus?’ and I do have three kids who go to our school district. ‘Would I put them on the bus to get them to and from safely?’ and if the answer is ‘yes,’ we're gonna go to school,” Franklin Community Schools Superintendent David Clendening said.

For Franklin Township, the decision to cancel classes one more day came later Wednesday afternoon.

Officials with Franklin Community Schools decided to start school two hours late.

A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Education said waivers will be issued to all schools that request them for Monday and Tuesday.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

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