DCS Superintendent Talks Severe Weather Protocol

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – When extreme weather hits on a weekday, school leaders have to make important decisions.

“We want to avoid any situation where we transport students to or from school during the worst of times,” says Dr Dennis Coe, Superintendent of Dothan City Schools.

Bus lines take around two to two and a half hours to complete for a district, a huge factor in deciding whether bad weather means sending students home early or keeping them late.

Coe explains, “We don’t need to have buses on the road with winds over 30 miles per hour, with them being very heavy you risk knocking them over.”

Many resources are used to make the safest choice for students and staff.

“Our local weather stations, we review EMA briefings that we post at the National Weather Center, we talk to our local EMA director, we talk to city officials,” Coe expresses.

Coe thinks DCS buildings are a reliable option when students need to stay put

“In most cases, in extreme weather conditions, children are probably as safe as possible in a school building,” Coe says. “They are designed to withstand that. I think a lot of our schools were built before the tragedy that happened at Enterprise.

DCS says they constantly strive to put safety first.

Coe concludes: “I have unfortunately been faced with catastrophic events and it gives you a heightened awareness of the seriousness of things to be exposed to this and you would certainly prefer to be on the side of caution and safety.”

Due to Tuesday’s weather event, schools in the town of Dothan as well as other Wiregrass schools were released at around 11.30am on Tuesday.

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