Local school districts prep buses to run in cold weather

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 6:49 PM

(KMOV) – School districts in the St. Louis area battled frigid temps to keep buses running and get students into the classroom.

Rockwood School District was forced to call a snow day after most of their bus fleet failed to start in below-freezing temperatures early in January.

News 4 was told employees at the First Student bus yard in Wildwood worked overnight to make sure buses start and are warm until it’s time to roll.

"They are taking a number of steps to be sure those buses will be ready to go in the morning. Such as idling them during the night, brought in extra generators to make sure the batteries don't die, extra batteries they brought in and checking things much earlier in the night,” said Kim Cranston with Rockwood School District.

First Student operates about 150 buses everyday for Rockwood and they’ll have extra buses on hand in case some don’t start.

Other districts, including Parkway to St. Louis to Belleville, say they don’t expect problems with buses.

"We don't anticipate anything the company we work with is making arrangements to have people in check them and make sure they run them for a while overnight and early morning hours to make sure we're ready to go,” said Matt Klosterman Superintendent of  Belleville School District.

That meant long hours in the bus yard before school starts in the morning.

The other concern is wind chill for kids waiting at bus stops. On Wednesday night, school districts sent out emails and made robo-calls advising parents to dress kids warmly and if possible, wait in the car with a parent until the bus arrives. 

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