Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter is Here! Time to Talk Weather-Related School Closings

Winter’s icy breath has come early this year.  It is way too soon for most of us, unless you are a student who relishes snow day school cancellations.  At least we are not alone, for most of the country is unseasonably cold right now.  Thank you Mother Nature!

Nobody wishes a repeat of last winter, but we assume there will probably be at least a few days of missed school due to inclement weather.  The district recognizes the decision to open or close the schools in such situations has a big impact on families.  Our top priority when making such choices is the safety of our students and staff.

A number of factors are considered when making the decision to close our schools due to the weather conditions:

  • Road condition reports from our transportation and buildings-and-grounds departments - careful consideration must be given to the most dangerous, often rural, roads in the district;
  • Amount of accumulated snow and ice and whether or not it is continuing;
  • School building conditions (electricity, water and heat);
  • Parking lot conditions;
  • Temperature and wind chill, considering many of our children waiting outside for a bus or walking to school;
  • Weather predictions, which we know are not always accurate but must be considered in conjunction with other deciding factors; and,
  • What other school districts in Oakland County have decided.

The final decision is based on the above factors and recommendations from the Directors of Transportation and Buildings-and-Grounds.  In the event the district is closed, the goal is to make the decision and begin notifying families no later than 5:30 a.m.

There are several ways to find out if the school district is closed:

  • Messages sent via School Messenger if you have opted-in to the service;
  • Postings on the district’s website and Facebook page; and, 
  •  Notices that are automatically sent to local television stations, plus WWJ 950 AM and WJR 760 AM radio stations.

Please note, the school district recognizes parents may not feel it is safe to send their child(ren) to school in inclement weather and decide to keep them at home.  They should contact the school to notify them of this decision.   Parents should contact their children’s schools to update their contact information, if necessary.