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How Are School-Closing Decisions Made in Brighton?

Here are the procedures used and the factors that help determine when school will be closed in Brighton.

The first weather-related school closing of the year on Monday have prompted questions on the Brighton Patch Facebook Page about school-closing procedures in Brighton Area Schools.

Safety first

The foremost factor in the decision to cancel school is student safety. Brighton Superintendent Greg Gray said the district consults with the road commission, state police and other local superintendents.

When is the decision made?

District personnel drive throughout the district between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. to assess road conditions 85 percent of the time. The other 15 percent is when weather conditions have already worsened the night before and there's a 100 percent chance it will continue into the next morning.

"When it's a sure thing, we'd rather give parents the opportuity to make daycare arrangements and family arrangements," Gray said.

The call is made by 5:30-6 a.m. at the latest.

What factors are considered?

The district encompasses 56.8 square miles and consists of the City of Brighton as well as parts of Genoa, Hamburg, Green Oak and Brighton Townships. If road conditions are such that the district determines driving would be hazardous for buses and student or parent drivers, the district will be closed. 

"Our buses can get through a lot of snow, our kids can get through a lot of snow - it's ice that causes the big problem for us," Gray said.

Why not a 2-hour delay?

This is not an option for Brighton Area Schools, according to Gray, because the roads are not typically cleared by then and it would force schools to shorten class periods.

"It just ruins the whole day," he said. "There's really no valid academic reason to stick with a 2-hour delay."

Bus delays

On Tuesday morning, bus delays caused a late closing of Hartland Consolidated Schools' elementary schools and Farms Intermediate School.

Brighton Area Schools remained open, but also experienced difficulties with some buses becoming stuck in back neighborhoods while others were late picking up students.

"We were able to kind of muddle our way through it this morning," Gray said. We checked the roads at 4 a.m. and again at 4:30 a.m. and the roads were fine. Then we got rain after 5 a.m., but buses were already out on their routes by then.

"Our transportation department did an excellent job," Gray said. "We have fantastic bus drivers in this district, so hats off to them. They're really excellent at what they do."

Nicole Krawcke (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 01:52 AM
A commented has been removed from this article because of profanity Please read our Terms of Use Policy at http://brighton.patch.com/terms.
anonymous February 01, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Because of your bad school closing decisions, a bus driver was injured and had to get stitches. What if it was a student? Someone's child, would you be prepaid to be sued? What if I a child slipped getting on/off a bus and died of a horrible concussion? How would you guys feel? Us parents put our children's life in your hands in hope you will keep them safe, but if your making our babies go out in sevier weather, how can we trust you to keep them safe if your own bus drivers are getting hurt? Maybe you should reconceder your decisions, because I know if one of my babies get hurt I will have you in court.
anonymous February 01, 2013 at 01:06 AM
And for your terms and conditions Im pretty sure my comment was apropriate. I mention the truth and it might hurt but that's how every parent everywhere feels, you put our babies in danger then be perpared to go to war. I would like a super attendant or adviser to respond to my first comment. Thank you!
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Anonymous - Your first comment was in no way appropriate as it contained not one, but several swear words. If you read Patch's Term's of Use Policy, under Acceptable Use, it states, " You are solely responsible for the Content that you post on the Service or transmit to other users. Without limitation, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that: A). is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive." We appreciate you wanting to voice your opinion on Patch, but please do so as you did above, without the use of profanity. In addition, I'm am confused as you signed your first comment as a student. In your comment above you mention your children. Are you a parent in the district. I would love to further discuss the circumstances behind the incident. Please call me at 517-488-5886.

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