January 3, 2012
The winter weather is finally upon us and for some that is a source of contentment and for others it is not welcomed. In any event, Mother Nature has cut down on the winter season by a whole month so it is expected that we will have to enjoy (for all you who look forward to snowmobiling, skiing, ice skating, etc) or endure (for all those who prefer not removing snow, not bundling up, etc.) wintry conditions for only 2 ½ months rather than the 3 ½ months we typically experience winter.
The beginning of winter weather conditions initiates a change in the routines for those who work for the school district. During inclement weather, District officials closely monitor weather forecasts using a variety of weather services. In addition, the officials confer with the transportation supervisor, highway department officials, and other school districts as necessary to assess the conditions. Please allow me to share the following relating to school delays, closings, early dismissals, and cancellations:
- At approximately 5:00 or earlier the maintenance staff begins the task of snow removal from the parking lots, driveways, and walkways. In some instances, the snowfall may be so heavy that these areas, along with the roads, may not be cleared in time to start the school day. Therefore, we may need to delay the opening of school to complete the snow removal process.
- The delay and/or closing of school is a difficult decision. For the majority of the time, the decision to delay and/or close school due to inclement weather is made no later than 6:10 a.m. This decision to either delay and/or close school is made based on the information that is known at the time. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the blizzard that is occurring at 5:30 a.m. can slowly diminish in strength and the weather conditions can turn into clear skies and sunshine by 8:30 a.m.
- It is possible that a delay will become a closing if the conditions worsen or fail to improve.
- In the event that the weather unexpectedly takes a turn for the worse while school is in session it is necessary for students to be dismissed early from school. If school is let out early, children need to be certain of where to go. It is important that parents/guardians review the plans for an early dismissal.
- At times, the weather report may indicate difficult weather conditions after school has released. In such instances, after school activities may be cancelled and the schools will be closed down for the evening.
The aforementioned is shared with you in hopes that you will have a better understanding of the process employed when considering delays, closings, early dismissals, and cancellations.
Shaun A. O’Connor