PRINCETON, WV, December 16, 2019: In an effort to address parent concerns over closing school whenever the main roads are reasonably clear, Mercer County Schools is instituting a Winter Alternate Route Schedule. With this option, schools will be open and bus drivers will operate their regular routes with exceptions to certain areas.
A letter was sent home on Friday, December 13, 2019, identifying the routes for each individual school which will be affected. If a child does not ride one of the listed bus routes in the letter sent home to parents or he or she does not live in the area identified in the route change in the letter, then his or her schedule will not be affected. If a child does live in the identified route area, an alternate pick-up point is listed should parents/guardians choose to take their child/children to that stop.
Most of the route changes are already being made on some days. If changed, the driver(s) typically call(s) parents and informs them that the route will be altered on that day. With this procedure, if the Winter Alternate Bus Schedule is needed for a specific day, the school telephone announcement, radio announcements, WVVA Snow Patrol, Internet announcement sites at the West Virginia Department of Education and at Mercer County Schools will indicate an Alternate Route Schedule.
The Winter Alternate Bus Schedule will only be used when the main roads are assessed to be clear or adequately treated but some portions of the bus routes are icy or too snow-covered for two-way traffic to pass safely. Routes were identified through drivers’ experience and knowledge of roads during the winter months.
When areas on routes are affected, drivers will make every effort to inform parents of route changes. Additionally, parents/guardians are encouraged to listen to the entire phone message as information relating to route changes will be given during the message.
The following school closures/delays will be announced as follows:
Two-Hour Delay - All Schools will operate on a two-hour delay. Bus routes will not be altered except to run two (2) hours late.
Two-Hour Delay Winter Alternate Route Schedule – All schools will operate on a two-hour delay, and bus routes will be altered as stated in the Winter Alternate Route Schedule.
Schools Closed – All schools closed.
Schools Open on Regular Schedule Winter Alternate Route Schedule – All schools open on regular schedule, but bus routes will be altered as stated in the Winter Alternate Route Schedule.
The new announcement schedule will begin on January 6, 2020. If a parent/guardian has questions, he or she should contact his or her child’s school. A listing of all routes is available on the Mercer County Schools Webpage under Bus Schedules: https://boe.merc.k12.wv.us/Page/3474