Perrysburg Schools say decision not to close Wednesday was a tough call

Perrysburg Schools say decision not to close Wednesday was a tough call

PERRYSBURG, OH (WTOL) - Wednesday's winter weather was a consideration for most. Many of the school districts in our area chose to either delay or cancel school today.

Perrysburg was not one of them.

Further south in Wood County, the snowfall levels were not as high and most school systems chose not to cancel. Perrysburg School District saw some criticism for choosing not to cancel classes.

There was some unfounded speculation that school was not canceled due to the fact that it was college signing day for high school senior athletes. That meant that the high school was delayed by two hours anyway Wednesday.

However, a Perrysburg school bus was involved in a crash on Thompson Road at Roachton Road around 7 a.m Wednesday morning. The police report produced later in the day revealed the crash was due to a car failing to completely stop at a stop sign and was then hit by the bus.

In the district's policy, if a bus driver is involved in an accident, regardless of the circumstances, that person is no longer allowed to continue their route.

As soon as a new driver could get to the scene and assess it, parents were notified.

In the meantime, police and rescue professionals were on the scene making sure that everyone was safe. As a result, no students were injured in this accident.

School Superintendent Tom Hosler had been up since 4 a.m. Wednesday driving around the roads, assessing the weather. He takes a hands-on approach and does not take these calls lightly.

In his 18 years as Superintendent, he says that he has made calls that he has regretted in the past, but this was not one of them.

"This morning is one of those mornings where you say, 'I'm grateful that everybody made it in, just like if it was raining really hard this morning, but would you have done anything differently?'" Superintendent Hosler said Wednesday. "And I'm not sure I would've because it was not a major snow event here in Perrysburg, but it was not too far from here."

Superintendent Hosler further explained that regardless of the weather, every day they worry about kids getting to and from school safely, especially new teenage drivers who can be unfamiliar with the roads.

Some of the days with the most accidents do not even involve snow, they are the days when there is dense fog or a bright glare from the sun.

"We average, you know, anywhere between 35 to 38, 40 inches of snow a year," Superintendent Hosler explained. "We can't cancel school or delay school with every snow event. And a half an inch of snow is something this morning that we felt, that I felt, that is something we could navigate well."

Ed Palmatier is a parent in the Perrysburg school district. He said he saw a lot of controversy floating around on social media today as to whether or not the choice to cancel was the right one.

Palmatier gives the school system credit, knowing that no matter which call they make, whether to cancel, delay or stay open, not everyone will be happy with that decision.

"It's tough because between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., I don't think the roads were bad," Palmatier explained. "And then it hit, I think the superintendent made the call, and then all the weather came in, I don't think the plows had enough time to react, and when he made the call, by the time people were on the roads, it seemed to be bad."

Parents say between the time Superintendent Hosler made the decision to stay open and when the weather hit, that is when things started turning nasty on the roads.

In Perrysburg, they try to make the call as soon as possible and get the word out as soon as possible. Once busses leave to get the students, and students are out at bus stops or walking into school, it is difficult to change the decision.

For up-to-date information on closings and delays, you can always turn to the WTOL 11 website or the download the WTOL app.

Despite the weather likely not being much of a factor in the bus crash, it is definitely something that will be taken into consideration when looking at delays and cancellations in the near future. That is including the expected storm headed for northwest Ohio later this week.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.