February 2011
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D150 closes for third day in a row

District 150 announced this afternoon that “Due to weather and road conditions, Peoria Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, February 3, 2011.”

I have to admit, I’m really surprised by this announcement, which I received via e-mail this afternoon from the District. Given that it hasn’t snowed any more since early this morning, and the City crews have been working around the clock, I really expected things to be clear enough by tomorrow that the buses could get through and school would be back in session. But I’m not complaining, either. It won’t hurt to give the City another day to get things cleaned up before the kids go back.

23 comments to D150 closes for third day in a row

  • Good call

    I’m glad they cancelled it. It was a good call. The drifts are too high and our street hasn’t been plowed yet. It would have been a real problem.

  • Sharon Crews

    I still have a feeling that getting the buses freed from the snow could be a problem, too. I wonder how many raccoons have taken refuge in the buses. On January 10, Terry Knapp spoke about raccoons on 150 buses. We knew that the story was true–that raccoon tracks on the floor and even raccoon feces had been spotted on a bus, at least, once. Board members tended to ignore Terry’s report. Then Mendoza, the new transportation director, presented his report on the state of District 150 transportation. When one board member raised his hand to ask a question, Mendoza asked if it was about raccoons. Crawford said, “No.” Later Martha Ross brought the subject up again, and Mendoza admitted that there is a raccoon problem.
    Mendoza explained that buses are left open at night for fueling. I thought that was an insufficient answer. I really believe that having raccoons on buses could be considered a health hazard. I even FOIA’s to find out if any solution to the problem had been found. In response, I received a DVD of the January 10 board meeting.

  • curious

    Sharon – did you listen to Mr. Mendoza’s response from the board meeting? Buses aren’t left “open at night” as you state, but I believe he stated that doors had been left open as buses were being staged for fueling. Several schools I drove by just a few minutes ago (Roosevelt, Lindbergh, Manual)still weren’t plowed and many side streets are still impassable. Having children stand waiting for buses in expected -15 degrees isn’t the best decision either. Good call by the district.

  • Sharon Crews

    When and why the buses are left open is a bit irrelevant, don’t you think? The fact that raccoons are given the opportunity to board the buses is the problem, isn’t it? Evidently, it happens often enough for Mendoza to state that “we have a raccoon problem.” Curious, Curious, are you Jim Stowell? Just a wild guess since Curious probably has to be someone who attended the board meeting. Yes, I think keeping schools for another day is a very wise decision.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    When I went by Sterling school, D150 was just getting that area plowed out. I didn’t drive by any other schools today, but that might be the reason. additionally, sub zero temps are supposed to hit this evening. People are still snowed in their driveways as some areas had huge drifts on top of all the snow.

  • 2 Cents

    My neighborhood has one path plowed, not by the city plows but by a truck. If two cars are on the road at the same time going in different directions, someone is going to eat snow. Orange Prairie road, south of War Memorial, is plowed for about 1/8 mile then the plow apparently stopped in its tracks. We had to put it in reverse back to Rt 150 and go the long way around to get back home. Orange Prairie northbound is open all the way to 150. A “Road Closed” sign at the southbound lane would be wise.

  • I went by PHS at 5pm (Wednesday) and it was completely snowed in. Obviously, they didn’t expect to be in the building Thursday.

  • Observation

    Sharon, I think you are over-reacting to the cute furry little creatures on District 150 buses. Surely Dunlap’s buses are raccoon infested too. [end sarcasm]

  • Adkinsdutro

    I talked directly to a bus driver. He said raccoons are frequently on the busses in the morning and that they often have to chase them OFF of the busses before they begin their routes. Further, my daughter stated that she has seen raccoon DUNG on her bus. I know from watching Billy the Exterminator that raccoons carry some NASTY diseases. :). And I know how nasty they can be when cornered. So . . . I say we assemble a swat team of sorts – and equip them with smoke grenades and high-powered air rifles. They can smoke out and exterminate the little buggers until the last one is gone. Then, when that job is done (in keeping with district policy), we can give the swat team personnel all jobs as educational consultants or data specialists.

  • Adkinsdutro

    Snow day. Harry Whitaker is down in his condo in Alabama rolling his eyes.

  • Sharon Crews

    I just knew that giving Adkins-Dutro another day off would give him time to visit the blogs. Of course, I knew that there had been raccoons on buses because he sent his wife and me a picture of the raccoon tracks on the bus taking the swim team out of town. Again, I believe District 150 owes parents an explanation as to what is being done to handle this situation. I FOIA’d that data and received nothing.

  • big-n-italian

    i agree that it was the right call. many roads still need cleared better and it isnt worth the risk getting a bus full of kids stuck somewhere in less than zero degree temps. better safe than sorry.

  • Peoria Parent

    big-n-italian – That is if you can even get the buses to show up. Big IF

  • mama

    Side streets are clear, for the most part, but what I noticed the most was the lack of sidewalks for students to walk on or stand on while they wait for a bus. Driving down Western I encountered people walking in the street because the snow was too deep to walk in on the sidewalks.

  • average teacher

    I also saw a semi truck get stuck trying to turn right onto University from Glen. Those are two main streets and the semi was stuck the wole time I was eating at Chilli’s

  • Average teacher, saw that too. Some right turn lanes are simply terrible. Saw a cop there giving hell to a city guy in one of those expensive new blazers they ride around in. Once the semi gets out, I’ll bet a plow shows up.

  • The Mouse

    I was glad schools were cancelled today. Some areas don’t have bus service. I ddin’t like the idea of my kid walking around (through?) the snow drifts in this cold weather to get to and from school.

  • Adkinsdutro

    Another idea. The district could kill the raccoons, skin ’em, let the pelts dry and cure in the vacant houses on Prospect, then trade the pelts to high school teachers in exchange for the three hours they’re going to spend at work on Saturday, June 4, 2011, for high school graduation. They could even do a little research and learn how to dye the pelts to match the colors of each of the three high schools.

  • skeptical1

    I see wee are not having school again on Friday. Some school districts are having school on Preident’s Day to make up what we missed this week. I wonder if our illustrious leaders are that wise?? This is a rhetorical question.

  • huh?

    They missed 4 days and you think using one pre-established holiday makes up for almost a whole week? You just might be a future administrator….or a union leader.

  • skeptical1

    I did not mean for you to take it that one day to make up the whole week. I just know that we need to use days more wisely and FYI I am neither. Thank you. Duh …I mean huh.

  • Adkinsdutro

    Maybe we could send all of our students to the Quest Charter School and the state would let us count the make-up days two for one. I’m sure, after all, that the learning going on via Quest more than doubles what we do in the “regular” public schools. Maybe we could count the days three or four for one. ‘Course it would be hard to fit everyone. But I suppose they could hold a lottery . . .

  • hot in the city

    Maybe they didn’t want to displace the raccoons until it gets warmer LOL!

    I hope central admin/BoE finds a way to make up at least some of these missed days before the end of the year, from an educational standpoint. Also, the all-important PSAE tests for high school students are in approximately 11 weeks and those dates cannot be moved because of the ACT component. Teachers have plans to strengthen test-taking skills and additional work set up for these 11 weeks to help ready students for those state exams. It would be best if the lost days could be made up during this time rather than at the end of the year when most primary instruction is finished.

    I believe, back “in the day,” Spring Break days were considered unused snow days and, if they were used, they were lost for Spring Break, with the exception of Good Friday and the day after Easter. If I am misremembering (!) it might be a good idea to consider.