Why schools delay start time during freezing weather
CARTER - Carter County's school system was among those on a two hour delay today because of freezing weather.
Administrators say the main reason they delay school is to keep students safe.
The principal at Happy Valley Elementary says two hours gives time for the sun to come up and warm bus stops.
"The daylight isn't very good when students wait for the bus early in the morning on regular days, and it's not enough daylight for children when it gets this cold," said principal Stephen Garland.
He also says older school buildings like the elementary school need extra time to make sure they're warm and ready for students.
"We actually had a couple problems this morning at our school. We had maintenance come out and fix them. I got here early and our janitors came early and checked the school to see if everything was functioning," said principal Garland.
The school buses also need extra prep time. The buses run on diesel, and that can cause problems when temperatures dip below freezing.
The county transportation director said his drivers were out at 5:30 a.m. checking to see if their engines would start.
He said they had issues starting a dozen buses.
"We start picking kids up at 6:30 a.m. We don't want any of these kids to be standing out there and us not be there," said Wayne Sams, transportation director.
The delay also gives the icy mountain roads time to thaw for drivers.
A delayed opening still counts as a whole school day on the academic calendar.