April 16, 2014


Despite storm, Avon Lake plows forward with school

Avon Lake schools were open Wednesday.  STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Avon Lake schools were open Wednesday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Avon Lake Superintendent Bob Scott didn’t mince words Wednesday.

“In hindsight, we shouldn’t be in school today,” Scott said.

With those words, Scott answered the question on the mind of many of his students’ parents as they looked through Wednesday’s school closing list and did not see Avon Lake Schools on it. At least six inches of blowing snow kept children home everywhere else across Lorain County.

“The kids got in, all the buses got in and everyone did so safely,” Scott said. “We have a procedure in place. Crews hit the campuses at 2 a.m. and people hit the streets at 3 a.m., including me. The streets looked good and the buildings looked good.”

Yet, as most drivers can attest, a strong band of snow flurries moved through the area just after 7 a.m. — just as buses and parents were arriving at school.

“I’m the superintendent, so it’s my responsibility. I took everything into consideration and made a decision,” Scott said. “I will use this day in the future when making future decisions.”

Late Tuesday evening, Lorain County went under a Level 2 snow emergency. Scott knew that when he decided not call for a day off. Avon Lake has used four snow days thus far in the school year.

Staying under the five-per-year threshold never came into play, he said.

“I like to think Avon Lake is not like the rest of the county. It’s not as rural and city crews do a great job of clearing the streets,” he said. “A Level 2 snow emergency doesn’t automatically make us shut down.”

Scott said he visited each of the district’s buildings Wednesday and said attendance was normal.

“We made the best of it,” he said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • alreadyfedup1

    Why do schools and companies close when it is only cold and the streets are clear but a half a foot of snow in the streets and the schools stay open and you can not get through?? Right is wrong and wrong is right.

    • banshee70

      I wouldn’t call 20-some degrees below zero “only cold”. It is dangerous for people to be outside in that weather, especially children who have to walk to school or wait outside for a bus. Hypothermia and frostbite can occur within a few minutes.

      • Americaschild

        dumb superintendent as the issue 2 storm ban should have been enforced!

        • Bill

          There is no ban with a level 2 snow emergency.

    • Americaschild

      if it would have been a friday or monday the schools would have been closed

  • banshee70

    I guess Mr Scott is too dense to watch the weather forecasts? “The streets looked good…” Yeah…at THREE AM…watch the news, dumbkopf!

  • Mandy Mae Lapp

    I am going to comment on Bob Scott statement of “I like to think Avon Lake is not like the rest of the county. It’s not
    as rural and city crews do a great job of clearing the streets.”

    Avon Lake has great school systems. I think school should have been closed yesterday, since none of the side streets were cleared by the city. What about the walkers? Children’s parents were forced to drive them to school. I had attempted to give my son a ride and my car was stuck right in front of my house. I was unable to get down my street, yet drive him to Troy… None of the side streets were plowed what so ever.

    So please think about the walkers next time.

    • Americaschild

      he should have followed the issue 2 storm ban as all in lorain county schools observed–keep off the streets–dumb supe

  • Americaschild

    Not a smart move. School should have been closed. If students cannot get to school except to walk, it was a bad situation and confusing. Some were late and others just could not get there. HE SHOULD HAVE FOLLOWED THE ISSUE 2 STORM BAN and kept people off the streets! dumb

    • LAB1660

      While the Level 2 storm ban states, “Roadways are extremely hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and/or flooding. Only those who feel it necessary to travel should be on the roadways. Employees should comply with workplace policies or contact their employer. This alert will remain ni effect until further notice,” Superintendent Scott felt it was appropriate to conduct school and thus he did. Attendance was assessed as normal in all buildings. It was apparent that the parents of the children who attended school that day believed it important enough to make sure their children were in attendance. I salute his decision.

      • Americaschild

        level 2 snow ban–follow it!

        • Bill

          Again, there was NO ban. Individual cities may have had a parking ban but that was it.

      • banshee70

        Seing all of the comments here and elsewhere from parents who kept their kids home anyway, I don’t believe him when he says attendance was “normal.”

      • Mandy Mae Lapp

        I believe it is important that my child attends also. I am not being impolite about the situation, I am just asking him to think about the walkers…..I as a mother, did not want my son walking on the street that was not plowed. I then attempt to drive him, because school is important, and I get stuck! So my son has a mark against him for missing school because the city did not shovel the side streets. The had all evening to do it! I believe we need a better communication with the city; when it comes to decisions that Mr. Scott has to make.

  • LAB1660

    While all of you prior posters are derogatorily critical of this move to conduct school, let’s do remember where we live and what the weather is most like to be in any given winter. I grew up in the infamous East Side Snow Belt. In my day, Mayfield NEVER called off school, but did have delay starts, and those were few and far between. I realize that this was well over 40 years ago, but I certainly survived the necessity to walk when the bus did not come. We, the adults who work, must follow our companies’ policies–when the companies are open, we must report to work or we lose (a) personal days; or (b) vacation days. When those personal and vacation days are exhausted, we cannot use the weather as an excuse not to come in, let alone an illness or a child’s illness. Whatever are we teaching our children if they get snow days because they are in school? They’ll NEVER adjust to the real working world. I work with some younger people who believe exactly that–close the schools, don’t come to work, either. For the record, I am not fan of this type of weather, BUT I GO TO WORK EACH AND EVERY DAY because we must all be there for the clients we serve. It would be wise to remember who writes the paychecks in the larger picture of deciding whether or not to go to work.

    • banshee70

      Do you walk to work in that weather? Stand outside for 15-20 minutes waiting for a bus? I for one am not going to trust someone driving a bus that big with my children inside when visibility is less than a quarter of a mile.

      • LAB1660

        I ride a bus to work and oftentimes, that bus does not show up appropriately and has caused me to leave my home earlier than I might otherwise because I cannot rely on the bus getting me to work on time. I have had to wait outside in dangerously cold weather because that bus is my transportation. I am unable to use the bus shelters because they are crowded with smokers in deference to RTA and the State of Ohio’s policies on smoking in buildings. I cannot ask the smokers not to smoke because I am white and you can guess the reason why I must either wait outside or stay silent. RTA police are supposed to enforce the no smoking policy but try to find one when the weather is inclement. They’re all hanging around in Tower City instead of additional downtown stop patrolling.

  • upsetmother

    All I have to say is… “If your going to keep the schools open THEN AT LEAST HAVE ALL THE STREETS PLOWED!” We did not get 6in of snow AT 7am! My street was not plowed all night! Erieview school campus was in great shape WE JUST COULD NOT GET THERE! Electric Blvd was great WE JUST COULD NOT GET THERE! My husband actually used his own plow to clear the road so I could get my son to school and back! ~ A city plow did not touch my street until after 5 pm WEDNESDAY ~ But the city did a great job?!
    Mr. Scott I have always admired you. I think this was a bad call made without all the facts first…crews were not keeping up with the streets and again the walkers had to trudge through not inches, BUT SEVERAL FEET of drifting snow ~ rethink it next time and be sure THE SIDE STREETS ARE NOT 1FT DEEP!

    • Mandy Mae Lapp

      I agree