Tazewell Co. schools explain rational behind closings - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Tazewell Co. schools explain rational behind closings

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Students in Tazewell county had yet another snow day Wednesday, leaving some parents to wonder why their kids were not in class.

Although the main roads are clear, school officials in Tazewell County say the buses travel far beyond the highway.

Director of Operations George Godbey said only 14 of the 80 bus routes were completely clear on Wednesday.

"If you rode 460 or the main road, 16, there is nothing on them. But the back roads where we have buses traveling, there is still a danger, and we wanted to take one more day just to make sure we're safe when the kids come in," Godbey said.

When making the call to close school, transportation officials travel the back roads, call VDOT officials and bus drivers and check in with the sheriff's department.

Still, they say the weather can be very different throughout the county.

"Roads like these, still covered in snow and not far off of 460, are what school officials consider when they make the call to close school," said Godbey.

This year the school system put in place a limited routes plan.

Bus drivers now have the ability to limit their run to avoid areas which they still consider dangerous.

The driver communicates the plan with the school and parents and students are not punished if they were not able to make it to school.

"So that we can continue to have school and if everybody on the limited routes did not come. We're talking about 1/10th of all the students in Tazewell County, so it's not affecting a mass part of the population," Godbey said.

School officials say student safety is their main concern.

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