New protocols in place for Metro Schools in case of snow

(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As Middle Tennessee might face another bout of winter weather this weekend, many eyes will be on how Metro Nashville Public Schools deals with it.

Three weeks ago, the district—by its own admission—did not handle very well a surprising first snow.

Buses slipped off roads before the district decided to cancel classes after a predicted dusting turned into a treacherous two inches on Jan. 6.

Many parents were outraged.

“What happened on that day that caught us a little off guard was we were good up to certain amount of time and then it shifted on us,” said Dr. Sito Narcisse, the Chief of Metro Schools.

But since then, some changes have been made to better deal with forecasts that might be wrong.

Dr. Narcisse was one of those making the decision that day and will help make the decision this Monday morning alongside Dr. Shawn Joseph, the Director of Schools.

“The biggest difference now is Dr. Joseph has put more protocols in place, and those are protocols are on how we communicate with schools, communicate with leaders, and how we are going to decide if we have school and have safety nets for those processes,” he told News 2.

And there are better protocols in place to delay school starts by two hours if necessary.

Before, it was often hold school or don’t hold school; the delay options give the district a buffer.

“So if you have a two-hour delay, then the director and the team will have enough time to make a decision, ‘Do we move forward with school or not move forward with school?’” Dr. Narcisse explained.

In addition, there have been meetings this week between Metro Transit Authority (MTA) and MNPS officials.

Twenty-four thousand of the 88,000 students in the MNPS take the MTA buses primarily so they can attend schools outside of their assigned zones.

MTA officials tell News 2 that if a two-hour delay for the start of schools is implemented Monday, students riding the MTA should go two hours later to their usual pickup locations for their usual buses.