Threatening weather closes schools

Published 8:51 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chilton County School officials decided Wednesday afternoon to close schools early in advance of severe thunderstorms.

Schools were notified around noon to close schools at 1 p.m., allowing bus routes to complete their rounds before the weather was set to arrive in the county.

School board vice president Ann Glasscock, along with system transportation director Joe Dennis, made the closing decision. Superintendent of Education Keith Moore was in Texas for a softball tournament while board president Howard Daughtery was at work at Alabama Power.

“Both Joe and I have been in touch with Mr. Moore and Mr. Daughtery throughout the day and let them know what we had decided,” Glasscock said. “Mr. Moore contacted me last night and said that he would back the board on whatever we decided.”

By closing the schools at 1 p.m., the system is able to count the day as an official day and will not be forced to make it up. School is already scheduled to be out Friday thanks to an unused weather day.

Glasscock said the system’s longest bus route is estimated to be an hour and a half long, also forcing the decision to close at 1 p.m.

“We wanted to make sure each of our routes were completed before the weather arrived,” Glasscock said. “By closing at 1 p.m. we are able to do that.”

Making the decision ended up being the easy part for the system.

Before lunch the system’s phone system went down, forcing system officials to use cell phones to contact school administrators around the county.

“Thank goodness we have these phones,” Glasscock said. “It made notfying everyone a little more challenging.”