Sub-zero temperatures challenge schools - February 05, 2007

Record Number: 3009
Displayed from: Feb 05, 2007 , until: Feb 06, 2007

Due to the below freezing temperatures engulfing the area today, Fort Wayne Community Schools has cancelled all after-school activities, including Study Connection. Officials are also asking parents who are able to pick up their student at the end of the day to do so, and for others to be patient because much of the district's fleet of buses are still not completely operational. A large number of drivers will be doubling routes, which will make getting home late for many students. Because there will be so many late buses this afternoon, the district has taken down its School and Bus Status website, a place where parents may see if their child's bus is running 15 or more minutes late. Today, we are asking parents to be understanding because nearly all buses will be running behind. This morning, in spite of a two-hour delay and an early shift by bus mechanics aimed at getting school buses started and warmed up, Fort Wayne Community Schools joined other districts across Northeast Indiana that had big yellow buses running late if they were running at all. Bio-diesel fuel is reported to work down to 20- to 25 below zero. Officials will be investigating why it failed to do so in buses at districts across the area this morning. FWCS this morning reported that between 20-25 percent of the district's fleet of 250 buses were down. Many secondary bus routes ran late as well, making pick up of the thousands of elementary students late. In addition, because so many buses were not operational, those on the road were doubling and even tripling their routes. The deep freeze is not due to lift today, so FWCS is joining other school districts in accessing whether to have a delay or closing for Tuesday. Please tune into local media for information. FWCS also offers parents who speak Spanish a closing/delay hotline with the most up-to-date information. It is: 467-1985. Weather emergency information is also posted on the district's Internet Home Page at: www.fwcs.k12.in.us Students are given an excused absence if parents decide the weather conditions are unsafe for their children to attend school. Parents must notify the school. And, please remember that in sub-zero, it is very important that parents make sure their children are dressed warmly and they are not left standing at bus stops. Our top priority is always to ensure the safety of our students, said Dr. Doug Coutts, Chief Operations Officer. We want to thank our students and their families for working with us during this time of such extremely dangerous temperatures.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.