• Bloomfield Forward
Pavement with text: Caution Icy Roads
Dr. Rob Glass

The decision to close school is never an easy one and this morning’s closure was no different.  The decision to close school today, January 16, 2019, actually began earlier yesterday, when we were alerted by our local weather authority of the chance of freezing rain and terrible morning road conditions.

The decision to close school is never an easy one and this morning’s closure was no different.  The decision to close school today, January 16, 2019, actually began earlier yesterday, when we were alerted by our local weather authority of the chance of freezing rain and terrible morning road conditions.

Whenever we are alerted to something like this, our Director of Physical Plant Services, Brian Goby, wakes up early and begins snaking his way through our neighborhoods.  In his car, he navigates through bus routes he knows to be particularly tricky in icy conditions and roadways in subdivisions to see if they are slick.

In many cases, the decision is quickly made, when piles of unplowed snow are observed or conditions are otherwise visibly unpassable.  In this case, the ice is hard to spot until you hit it and feel the vehicle lose traction. I do not frequently join Brian on the roads because usually, I am on a scheduled conference call with the other Oakland County Superintendents and a meteorologist, getting the latest update on the weather.  However, this morning, there was no call and I decided to join Brian so I could help assess the roads and make a rapid decision.

As you can see in the video below, the conditions we found in our subdivisions were not like many of the main roads - they were simply not favorable to have school.  The roads were not safe for our student pedestrians or our car, as it slid all over the roadway and had difficulty coming to a complete and immediate stop. This is problematic, especially for our student drivers.

Safety is our number one priority and I made a decision to close today, despite many of our Oakland County counterparts remaining open.  It’s important to remember that each municipality has varying road surfaces and resulting road conditions. In a district with hills, dirt roads, paved roads, etc., I have to make the best decision for my district across the municipalities we serve.

As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me with any questions or concerns you have.  Thank you for your understanding and for your support of Bloomfield Hills Schools.