A school district's job is to educate students, but it has to be able to get them to school safely, a transportation official said.
Tom Anway, director of operations for Tiffin City Schools, said it was strange that the composition of the roads made a difference in their conditions Thursday morning. Roads that were tarred and chipped were different than those with hard-packed asphalt, he said.
He said he has been doing his job for nearly 17 years and is not sure he ever has run into a situation where the temperature was 32 degrees, making it warm enough that rain didn't freeze on most roads, yet one road specifically kept icing over.
"This was really a strange morning. ... Just a half of (a) degree makes a huge difference," he said.
Several local schools haven't closed yet or have closed once this school year, according to information from school personnel. Tiffin City Schools' delayed classes for the first time Thursday, but it still had not canceled classes.
"We felt very comfortable in going after the two-hour delay," Anway said.
He has seen areas in the district that are a degree or two colder or warmer than another area. One district experienced a 5-degree difference in temperature from one end to the other, he said.
"When you're dealing with this much moisture, that makes a huge difference," he said.
Next year, the district only is to transport students in grades K-8 who live outside of a two-mile radius of their school, and Anway said his approach would be the same.
"The method in how I make that decision, if we should be in session, will not change," he said.
The decision, Anway said, still would be based solely on whether children can get to school safely. Many factors play into the decision, such as the condition of sidewalks in town and the roads in the country, he said.
"Our decisions aren't solely based on buses right now. ... We look at all different factors when kids come in," he said.
Anway said officials are going to concentrate on road conditions outside of the two miles where buses are to turn around. The district is to have fewer turn-around locations to evaluate because it no longer will have to inspect those located in the city of Tiffin.
"The evaluation points will change," he said.
Anway said had the district been operating in the reconfiguration Thursday, his decision to delay that morning would have been the same.
"Very seldom do you see a major difference from in town to the rural setting in your district ... (but) from district to district, there are huge differences," he said.