Snow brings school bus to a standstill


January 6, 2023

Cloquet students returned to school Wednesday — well, most of them did. With several inches of snow having fallen the night before and continuing that morning, some were delayed while others stayed home because of challenging roads.

Superintendent Michael Cary said the “secondary” rural roads — often the last to be plowed — are the most challenging after snow events and Wednesday was no exception. In this case, a bus driver lost traction on a hill, but couldn’t back up because there was a turn at the bottom and they didn’t want to risk ending up in the ditch.

“A tow truck was able to assist the bus, and the students riding it arrived at school a little late,” Cary told the Pine Knot. “Our busing contractor sent other buses to pick up students on the route where roads were passable.”

Any students who couldn’t get to school Wednesday were granted an excused absence if their parents called in to say they were keeping their child home.

Going forward, “snow days” won’t mean a day off of school, Cary said, explaining that Cloquet has used up its allotted snow days. That means future days when school is closed will be online learning days.

“We typically try to notify staff and students in advance that there is the possibility for an e-learning day and send devices home with students for those cases where they are needed,” Cary said.

He acknowledged that sometimes the weather may not cooperate with planning.

“There is always the chance, like with this weather system, where the storm intensifies after the previous school day is let out,” Cary said. “This makes e-learning days difficult as students may not have their devices home with them.”


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