Waterloo School District is closing elementary schools due to unusable buses on Friday

WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) – The Waterloo Community School District said it had to cancel school at all of its elementary schools on Friday except Cunningham due to “significant bus problems” in the cold weather .

All of eastern Iowa was subject to a wind chill advisory on Friday morning, with wind chills between -15 and -30 until 9 a.m.

In a statement, the district said the cold weather has caused fuel to freeze in its buses and as a result classes are being canceled at Becker, Highland, Irving, Kittrell, Kingsley, Lincoln, Lou Henry, Lowell, Orange and Poyner.

The district also apologized to the families for the complications the timing of the decision has created for them.

“It’s not the way we ever wanted this morning to go,” Superintendent Lindaman said in a statement. “With the exception of a few other situations during my tenure as Superintendent, this was the most concerning situation we found ourselves in. I made a decision that was the best possible decision to try to keep the children safe. ”

The district explained the situation in the following statement:

“Our buses start picking up middle school, high school and Cunningham students around 8:50 / 9:00 am (which is usually 6:50 / 7:00 am) to pick up the students. As they began to take over college students, a handful of buses saw the fuel begin to gel. Out of 66 routes, most were functioning well, but some became unusable. At the bus garage and district office, we immediately started finding other buses to take over the route (i.e. Cedar Falls schools, public transportation, and all other buses. from the city). We also dispatched administrators immediately to begin driving the routes with all available vans to help ensure that students who may already have been at bus stops can get to the shelter quickly.

Within minutes more buses started to pick up steam and it became evident that this was an emergency. Most of the kids had arrived at school for middle school, high school and Cunningham, so we didn’t want to send them home (which made the growing bus problem worse), but others were still waiting for a bus and we had to focus on their safety. Cunningham Elementary has a start time earlier than the rest of the elementary schools. For this reason, the majority of Cunningham’s students were either already in school or on their way. The school was the safest place for these students so we had to focus on the one bus line from Cunningham that was affected.

At 9:30 a.m., the decision was made to cancel the school for the second grade of schools (all elementary schools except Cunningham) for:

a) allow us to have ALL buses available for the rest of the high school, high school and Cunningham students to get to school, and

b) immediately alleviate the growing concerns about the schooling of our second group of students. “

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