To: Washington Township Community
From: Dr. Woodson, Superintendent
Re: Jan. 12th School Closure
On Monday, Jan. 12th Washington Township Schools moved from a 2 hour delay to a full closure. It is rare that a decision is changed and therefore, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the difficult decision making process.
Assessments began at approximately 4:00 AM on January 12th from the Transportation Department, Operations Department, & the Washington Township Safety & Security team, as they do for every questionable weather event, and per the District’s Snow Removal and School Closing /Delay Procedures. At 5:00 AM, I collaborate with the other 10 Marion County Superintendents and we discuss road conditions in neighborhoods and major thoroughfares, bus stop conditions, temperatures, and all aspects of the particular weather system at hand. This morning, we discussed specifically how road conditions varied greatly throughout Marion County with details from each of our districts. Our Operations Department team was working on salting parking lots and sidewalks in Washington Township by 5:30 AM. At this time a decision of a 2 hour delay was made and communicated based on the best information at the time.
Throughout the next few hours after the decision for a 2 hour delay was made, temperatures dropped further. Although the temperature change was slight, it caused re-freezing on the roads. The parking lots and sidewalks also began to re-freeze, even after salting due to the temperature drop. Further adding to our concern and cause for reconsideration was the predicted ongoing temperature drop throughout the afternoon creating more ice and re-freezing on the roads for the dismissal time frame.
After thoughtful collaboration with the Washington Township Transportation Dept., Washington Township Operations Dept., Washington Township Safety & Security team, and along with Marion County Superintendents, the decision was made for a full closure of schools in Washington Township. We immediately began communications and notifications. Pike Township changed from a 2 hour delay to full closure also due to the drop in temperature and Lawrence Township closed in Marion County.
The decision to delay or close school is a critical decision as it impacts thousands of staff and families and we do not take it lightly. Please know that safety is always the first priority in the collaborative decision making process and although not always agreed upon, tough decisions are made with the entire school district in mind.
Hopefully, winter will get easier on us! Please review below for make-up days currently scheduled:
• February 16th, Mon. (Make-up day for closure on Jan. 7th)
• May 26th, Tue. (Make-up day for closure on Jan. 8th)
• May 27th, Wed. (Make-up day for closure on Jan. 12th)
Revised calendars can be viewed at this link: http://www.msdwt.k12.in.us/calendar/