How are cancellation decisions made?
Our first and foremost consideration is the safety of our students and staff. We take a number of steps to ensure they have a safe trip to and from school. Many factors go into the determination of whether to hold school:
- Monitoring Current Conditions & Forcasts - Prior to a storm, district personnel monitor forecasts and live radar images to help determine if a weather system is likely to impact the current conditions. For example: If there is six inches of “powder” snow on the ground and the forecast is for high winds, this could cause visibility problems. If the road is slushy, but temperatures are forecast to drop quickly and drastically, this could be a factor.
- Personnel on the Street - District personnel take to the streets to determine the actual conditions in the district. If a storm is at night or predicted for the morning, Support Services personnel begin monitoring actual conditions between 2:30 and 3:00 am, and continue throughout the early morning hours. District personnel also clear lots and sidewalks, and sand and salt as necessary.
- Ability to Clear Pathways - We take into consideration whether we will be able to clear school sidewalks and parking lots – is there too much snow to clear in a timely fashion, or is snow continuing to accumulate at a rate in which it cannot be cleared adequately?
- Monitoring Temperature - We take into account the temperature and wind chill, both to determine air temperature safety, but also to determine the possibility of changing road conditions.
- Visibility - Visibility is monitored; if blowing snow causes poor visibility this could be a factor in cancellation.
- Coordination of Sources - All of these factors are taken into consideration and a decision is made through communication and data input from many sources. In addition, the district coordinates with city staff and police regarding any decision that is made.
Parents should always keep in mind that in addition to the precautions taken by the school district to monitor the conditions, on days when the decision is made to have school, parents can still determine if it is unsafe for their children to travel to and from school, or if a delay in getting to school is appropriate.