Schools monitor weather, roads before closing classes

(WMC-TV) - When the snow and ice start, school officials have an important decision to make - to close or to stay open. So, how do they decide?

At Shelby County Board of Education headquarters, staffers spent Monday morning monitoring National Weather Service reports about the possibility of sleet and snow.

'Certainly if there is a danger that temperatures could dip below freezing, then we have our storm team and ten individuals, including our superintendent, go out into the wee hours of the morning checking roads and bridges," said Mike Tebbe, Shelby County Schools spokesman.

Shelby County has an automated phone call system and in a matter of minutes students and their parents can be informed of any school delays or closings.

"If bad weather comes, we're going to be on top of it," said Milton Kuykendall, superintendent of DeSoto County Schools.

DeSoto County is also on alert for severe weather, and like Shelby County, the district will make closing or delay decisions based on how slick the roads are.

"We try to make it by 5:30 a.m. because our drivers have to leave home and go to their buses to start those early routes," said Kuykendall.

Tipton County also uses a rapid phone calling system to alert parents.

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