Getting children safely to school is difficult in cold weather, with or without snowfall.
Hall County and Gainesville City schools will take extra measures to ensure children arrive safely to school during the cold weather this week and ask that parents do the same.
“We are anticipating unusually cold weather for the next 2-3 days,” Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said Tuesday in an email to parents, administrators and other members of the community.
“In preparation, our transportation and maintenance departments are doing all that is within their abilities to ensure our buses run and buildings are warm and ready for our students and staff.”
Gainesville Superintendent Wanda Creel said a team will ensure the buildings in her system stay warm and safe despite low temperatures.
“We have the systems that turn our heat on,” Creel said. “We’ve got our maintenance team that are watching to make sure that all of our heating units are working, that everything is working properly. We have an energy-efficiency person that goes around and makes sure there are no problems with burst pipes or anything like that.
“We’ve got a lot of people that are working behind the scenes, after hours and early in the morning to make sure that our schools are ready to go and our buses are ready to pick up our children.”
Creel said efficiency in the system’s transportation department will help ensure bus routes aren’t seriously affected by maintenance troubles due to the cold.
“Our transportation team stands ready, and we’re very fortunate that all our buses are in one location,” Creel said. “We’ve got our mechanics that are able to address any concerns regarding our buses starting and we can make adjustments very quickly to adjust bus routes.”
Both Schofield and Creel advised families to make sure their children are safe and on time at bus stops. Creel said if children are late getting to their stop, not only can it delay the rest of the route, it can mean more children waiting longer in the cold.
“Families and community members are reminded to please exercise caution with children waiting at bus stops, as some routes may be running late,” Schofield said. “We will do our best to notify our community of any challenges via Twitter and our website.”
Finally, Creel reminded parents to ensure their children are dressed appropriately for the cold.
“Please, make sure that our children are bundled up, that they’ve got hats and gloves on, if at all possible,” she said. “Make sure they wear their coats, and if they don’t have these things, please have them bundled up in layers so when they get here, they can take some of that off because our classrooms are warm and ready to greet the children.”