The decisions made by the school district to close, delay or release students early from school are made with the safety of students and staff as high priority. We are very conscious of the impact school closings have on students, families, and schools. We appreciate your understanding in our efforts to get all students to and from school safely.
Below are the factors the school district considers in determining whether to close, delay, or release students early from school:
- Information is gathered on road conditions from Safe-Way Bus Company, local road crews, and weather forecast services to determine the level of safety. We consider road conditions across the school district. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the school district may be dangerous.
- The amount of snow and or ice accumulated.
- Whether the conditions are expected to worsen or improve.
- Building conditions, such as whether the buildings have electricity, heat, and water.
- Parking lot and sidewalk conditions; we keep in constant contact with our maintenance and custodial staff.
- Temperature, extreme cold alerts from the National Weather Service and wind chill. We do not publish a specific temperature or wind chill at which schools will be closed as different sources can report different air temperatures. In most cases, schools can remain open even when air temperatures fall below zero. Adjustments are made at each school building site with respect to recess being held outdoors and for what length of time based on wind chill concerns.
We prefer to not make our decisions based upon weather predictions the day or evening before a predicted storm; such predictions are not always accurate. We will make every effort to make a decision by 6:00 a.m. If a decision is made to keep schools open, we will try to avoid an early dismissal. However, if weather conditions worsen once students are in school and early dismissal is necessary, a decision is made midday.
Please pay close attention to the school district website in addition to phone and email messages that are sent through the school district’s emergency message system. Information is also posted on local television stations (Channels 4, 5, 9, 11). It is important to have an emergency back-up plan in place in the event of an unexpected dismissal.
Please know that regardless of the decisions made by the school district, parents have the right to decide to keep their child(ren) home when they feel road conditions in their neighborhood make it too risky to travel to school. We hope this explanation helps everyone understand the process that our school district uses to make the best possible decision for everyone involved.