Dense morning fog forced many schools in the Valley to cancel buses or start late

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The fog at Oak Valley School in Tulare Wednesday morning was so thick, you could not even see the orchards next door. So the district decided to cancel classes for the day.

"The majority of our kids that come to our school come to us on the bus, so it made sense that we go ahead and cancel school for the day," said Dr. Fernie Marroquin, Oak Valley Union Elementary School District.

Dr. Marroquin said he uses the ABC30 Fog Tracker to monitor foggy conditions. But also relies on spotters that live in the area, including parents and a school board member.

"And I contact them to get an idea as to what the fog situation is in their area, cause that's where our bus is going to go."

Four bus drivers serve the more than 3,000 K through 8th-grade students in the rural district. But just because they are not driving, does not mean they are not working. They are spending their day doing custodial and grounds work at the school.

Class was still on for Tulare High School students, but the Tulare Joint Union High School District canceled morning buses because of the fog. They said their bus drivers are provided in-service training and do not lose out on any pay. The decision mainly affected students that live in outlying areas like Tipton or Pixley.

By 10:00 a.m. the fog had cleared at Valley Oak, but Dr. Marroquin did not regret his decision.

"So when we made the call it was the right call because we would have had drivers that were driving into areas that were too dangerous for them to be driving in."

This is the first time this year Dr. Marroquin had to cancel school due to the fog. But for the safety of his students and bus drivers, he will not hesitate to do it again.
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