A few Laurel Countians were left scratching their heads wondering why school was canceled Wednesday when it wasn’t Tuesday.

Superintendent David Young was happy to explain the reasoning.

“Tuesday morning we had 39 degrees,” he said. “We had weather radar showing rain. The roads we drove at the time were fine. And it showed there would be a warming trend that morning.”

With that information, Young decided school would be on a one-hour delay.

Young said an unexpected “burst of snow” started falling around 7 a.m.

“It fell for about 15 minutes,” Young said.

But by that time, 90 buses had already started on their routes.

“Once they’ve started rolling like that, the safest place to take students is to school,” he said. “It’s not a matter of just stopping and turning around. If you take them back, you have the potential of taking kids back home where no one is there to supervise them. A lot of parents have already left for work.”

Young said there were a few buses that were delayed after getting stuck behind fender benders, but there were otherwise no problems.

Young said not all buses were able to pick up students on every road, however. In that case, the district tried to notify parents. If students did not get picked up and consequently missed a day of school, they were considered absent.

“By state law, they’re considered absent but it’s an excused absence,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do about that.”

On Wednesday, circumstances were different.

“The issue this morning was it was 29 degrees and dropped to 27 degrees,” he said. “Also there was freezing drizzle making black ice. It was slick around 6 a.m. Worse at 7 and worse at 8.”

Young admitted roads were dry by around 9 a.m. but he and his crew try to make the call as to whether school is canceled by 6 a.m.

“Ideally we want TV and radio notified by then,” Young said.

Young said he, Deputy Superintendent Greg Smith, Director of Transportation Claude Maggard and Assistant Director of Transportation Mike Broughton each drive a quadrant of the county every night when snow, rain or ice is likely in the winter.

“I started at 12:30 a.m. last night to be honest. Usually we begin at 3 a.m.,” Young said. “You don’t sleep very much when you do this.”

In addition to driving the roads — Smith estimated they each drive about 100 miles a night — the district gets weather radar updates every five minutes.

As of Thursday morning, snow had started falling again and quickly coated streets. Forecasts showed temperatures were not expected to rise considerably Friday.

To offset the days missed, Young said students attend school for 375 minutes per day — 15 minutes more than required. The extra minutes add up and the extra time is factored in for snow days.

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