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As temperatures begin dipping below freezing, Longview School District officials are reminding parents that icy roads or snow could cause school delays earlier than usual this year.

District spokesman Rick Parrish said it’s important to check for delays, as one area of the city could seem fine while other areas have dangerous conditions.

Superintendent Dan Zorn said the decision-making process starts early in the morning and includes discussions with the city and nearby school districts.

“At 5 o’clock in the morning or earlier, if there are concerns, our transportation director drives the bus routes,” Zorn said.

“He gets out there to see what the conditions are.”

Zorn said together, they will decide on a delay or cancellation, and whether to switch buses to “snow routes.”

Snow routes avoid steep hills or other potential hazards, Zorn said. He said bus drivers are also encouraged to make decisions.

“If they are not comfortable going up a road, we empower them to make that decision and say, ‘This is not safe,’ ” Zorn said.

After making a decision, Zorn said he alerts nearby superintendents as well as Longview school principals and Parrish. Parrish puts the information on social media, and it also goes out on the FlashAlert system.

Parrish encouraged parents to sign up for FlashAlert online, and check it regularly.

“Situations often change over the course of the early morning hours,” Parrish said. “We may have to add some more bus routes to the snow route list … Parents, don’t just check once, keep checking.”

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