Valley school districts seeing fewer fog delays after series of storms

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Valley school districts preparing for fog delays
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Some schools had delayed start times as Central California woke up to cold weather and hazy conditions on Monday.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Some schools had delayed start times as Central California woke up to cold weather and hazy conditions on Monday.

The fog forced delayed starts for a handful of schools in the foothills.

Multiple school districts say this year has been a little different with fog delays because of the recent series of storms.

The rain and windy conditions have helped mix up the elements, while air quality has also improved. So, the recipe for fog has been missing some ingredients.

School districts in Tulare and Kings counties count on back-up plans during foggy mornings, if needed.

Before making any changes, their transportation departments assess the conditions.

"I will get in my car and just see if it's local in our area," said Shelly Reveles, transportation director for the Pixley School District.

"We have staff throughout the district that start at 5:15 am, and they go outside and go out and measure the visibility to make sure its within our standards," added Erik Kehrer, chief operations officer with Visalia Unified.

Reveles has been with the Pixley School District for over 20 years.

She says rural communities deal with more fog delays given their location.

This winter season, they've had fewer than usual, only adjusting their bus plan about six times so far.

"Usually, starting November, we get quite a bit of fog for weeks and weeks at a time. Usually, we would be on day 16 or 17," said Reveles.

The larger Visalia Unified School District says it's managed to avoid major fog delays altogether.

"We have buses that may run a little late, but we haven't had to go to one of our plans where we announce district-wide delays in transportation or the start of class. We have been lucky in that way."

Kehrer says even though calls haven't been made, it doesn't stop the transportation department from staying prepared.

"Students safety, getting them to school safely is our number one goal of the transportation department. We have a new director who is looking at all of our plans," Kehrer said.

School leaders say parents should always stay alert for potential delays and changes.

Districts each have their own ways of sending out those messages, and you can also get foggy day delay information during AM Live on ABC30.

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