Fog delays school for nearly a dozen Valley campuses

FRESNO, Calif.

Students like Jacqueline Robles lined up at bus stops late in the morning as widespread fog enveloped parts of Fresno County for the first time this winter.

"Oh man, you couldn't see anything and it was kind of freaky because we didn't know what time the bus was coming," she said.

Schools in areas like Caruthers, Riverdale and Raisin City opted for a delayed start. Some campuses later updated their foggy day schedules to a Plan B, allowing bus drivers another hour to safely get kids to school.

"We were originally on Plan A, but the fog didn't lift. Typically the sun will come out and burn it off, but today it didn't. It stayed pretty dense throughout our district so we had to move to a Plan B," said Caruthers High School Principal Tod Tompkins.

Tompkins said he and other school officials in the area were caught a little of guard by the late-season fog because of the lack of rainfall this year.

"Usually you start having those (foggy days) in November and December. I was thinking we weren't going to have any this year and then low and behold start off the New Year with a Foggy Day," he added.

He said many districts build additional minutes into their school calendars for situations like this and while fog may not blanket the entire district, most will make the call to protect every student at every school.

"When we plan for foggy days, students' safety is what's in mind first and foremost. Sometimes there's questions hey it's not that foggy where I'm at, but we have to take in the district's considerations," he said.

Considerations, students said, can make for a heavier workload, but also keeps them safe while travelling to school when visibility is low.

"I have more homework on these days and I stay behind you know during class, during recess stuff like that," said Robles.

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