INCLEMENT WEATHER PROCEDURES
Each year extremes of weather cause me to consider closing school or modifying the school day. As Superintendent of our district, my decision to close school is always based on the safety of our students. The Transportation Director and myself start driving the roads around 5 in the morning. We then are in contact with neighboring school districts to check on the condition of their roads, as we transport some of those children to our ESC units.
Some of the factors that go into our decision:
- Amount of snow and ice on the roads;
- Projected amount of snow to fall and when it will start;
- Temperature and wind chills effect on it (wind chills that are -5 and below are given special consideration during bus stop wait time);
- Conditions of the school parking lots and sidewalks;
- Building conditions (whether we have electric and heat);
- Impact on our transportation fleet (Diesel fuel can start to gel up when temperatures get around zero);
- Have large amounts of snow been plowed into our bus turn arounds;
- Other districts.
Who actually makes the decision after these factors are considered?
As Superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based upon the factors described and the recommendation of my Transportation Supervisor. There has been more than once that one of our areas have had almost perfect road conditions and the other section due to the countryside it makes it unsafe to drive a car on or let alone an 80 ft. bus. In such instances, I may close school or do a two hour delay. As parents, you have the right to keep your child/children at home if you feel it isn’t safe. As always my top priority is the safety of our students. With that said, I understand our students are better being in school when possible.
When is the decision made:
I strive to make the decision no later than 6:15 a.m. so we may contact WSAZ and send a school message through our automated service. It may take up to some time for WSAZ to post it and school messenger to cycle through all the families that get the alert. Changes of the school day will also be posted on our web site in addition.
Will we dismiss early due if condition worsen?
If conditions worsen during the day, we may need to have an early dismissal, but we will give as much notice as possible through the previously mentioned means.
Needless to say this is not an exact science when it comes to delays and closings. Sometimes there isn’t a perfect decision, but I would rather error on caution. If you have teenage driver, I would discourage them from driving in questionable weather and encourage them to use the bus.