Dear MSAD 6 Parents/Guardians,
I want to apologize for the decision regarding the storm day today. I will start by indicating the decision was made with as much information available on the road conditions and in consultation with a meterorologist, but the decision was not the correct one, given the way the storm actually tracked. I also consult with several other superintendents beginning at 4:30 a.m. We were consistently told that the track would bring 1 to 2 inches of snow–clearly inaccurate. Superintendents on the coast closed because the track was due to hit them with more snow. Neighboring districts and I decided to stay open based on the data we had available.
This morning, the driver of bus #14, who transports middle and high school students, was backing into a side road to turn around and pick up a student whom he had missed. As he was backing up, the right rear tires went off the pavement and into a ditch. There were no reported injuries. The students were transferred onto another bus and transported to school. They arrived to school at approximately 7:40 a.m.
The media has reported that the students were evacuated from the bus due to carbon monoxide. A student reported the smell of gas, and the driver evacuated the students as a precaution. The bus is a propane-fueled bus, and the students were never in danger. The bus has been inspected, and besides minor damage to the bumper, there is no structural damage to the bus. The fuel system was never compromised and has been inspected by our mechanics. The bus is back in service.
Parents have asked if we plan to release early. We do not anticipate closing school early. This is because we do believe the roads will be in better condition this afternoon for dismissal. If we give the road crews time to plow, sand, and/or salt, roads should be clear for safe afternoon travel.
Please know that whenever I make a decision about your child’s safety due to inclement weather that you disagree with, please use your parental judgement. If you feel your child should not attend school due to weather conditions, you may keep her/him at home. I ask that you contact your child’s school so they can record this as an excused absence.
I do apologize for the decision made this morning. It was made with the most accurate information available at the time and student safety as a priority. We certainly would have used an inclement weather day if we had believed safety would be compromised.
MSAD #6 Superintendent of Schools