Parents of Barlow Park/Journey students are hoping the Ripon Area School District has learned a lesson after sending young children outside briefly Tuesday morning for a fire drill.

   The drill occurred as soon as students arrived at Barlow Park — but happened on a morning when wind chills dipped to -25 degrees, and at least one area school district canceled classes due to the cold.

   The drill was done to fulfill a requirement for a monthly fire drill at the school. According to Barlow Park staff, students stood outside for only about two minutes while still wearing the winter wear they had on when arriving to class.

   “Teachers were notified in the morning prior to the start of school to have their kids remain bundled up in their winter clothes at arrival so they were prepared for a very quick fire drill,” Principal Tanya Sanderfoot said. “Staff were told that they would proceed just out of the exit, take attendance and return to the classroom.”

   Though it was just two minutes outdoors, it was two minutes too long, several parents believed — especially since state statutes allow for cancelation of such drills if inclement weather exists ...

   Sanderfoot acknowledged that she did not know of the exemption when class began Tuesday.

   “Yes, we considered [canceling the drill], but to remain compliant we held the abbreviated fire drill as I wasn’t aware of the exemption at that time,” she said. “Being a relatively new principal, I was not aware of the statute that provides an exemption from monthly fire drills due to inclement weather so [I] was concerned with being compliant for our monthly fire drill.

   “I am now aware of the exemption and hope this helps all principals be aware that there is an exemption" ...

Read the full story in the Jan. 31, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.