SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS
The winter season is upon us. Our District administration, faculty, and staff understand that our decision to open or close schools during inclement weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served – both academically and socially – by being in school. However, our top priority is the safety of our students.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that we make the decision to keep open or close the schools in bad weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff and from local law enforcement and road
crews. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district; they can be
treacherous even if your street looks clear.
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated
- Whether or not the precipitation will continue throughout the day
- Temperature and wind chills (beginning at -15 / -20 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Weather predictions (including those from a weather alert service)
- Storm timing
- Building conditions (such as whether they have electricity and heat)
- Parking lot conditions
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The superintendent is ultimately responsible for the final decision based on the above factors.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
We strive to make the decision to close by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify our parents via our automated calling system, Twitter, and then the TV stations. Keep in mind that unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. In any case, we will notify parents via the automated calling system as the first alert.
TWO HOUR DELAY
In conditions where the snow is expected to stop, the temperature is expected to rise or for such things as fog or power outages, the District may call a two-hour delay. In the event a two-hour delay is called, a message would be sent to parents and the community in the customary fashion. In simplistic terms, all school starts times are adjusted to exactly two hours later than usual and all bus pick up times are also adjusted to exactly two hours later than usual. The only cancellations that will occur during a two-hour delay is morning preschool classes and Friday morning kindergarten only if the delay is called on a Friday. There will also be no YMCA before school care at Valley Vista and Albion. Each building will have an adjusted schedule for the day with the end of the day being at the normal time.
WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN?
Once students are in the buildings, even if the weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without endangering students. Once we make the decision to open the schools, many parents rely on it and leave for work. If we then send students right back home, many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses. If conditions get worse during the school day, we may need to have an early dismissal and will give as much notice as possible to parents. Although we do our absolute best in this process, I know that often no perfect decision exists. If you do not feel that it is safe for your child to get to school, use your best judgement on whether or not he or she should attend. If you choose to keep your child at home, his/her absence will be counted as an excused absence. Also, please discourage teenagers from driving in bad conditions and offer them alternatives as weather conditions worsen.
In the event a two-hour delay is called and conditions do not improve or worsen PRIOR to the commencement of high school buses beginning their adjusted routes, there is the possibility that school could be cancelled for the day all together.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
As soon as we make the decision to close schools, we will send an automated message via the designated telephone numbers that parents have given us. This will be the quickest and easiest way to learn about school closings. In addition, the North Royalton City Schools’ website will post the closing at www.northroyaltonsd.org. For those that use Twitter, you can follow me @gurkag as I will also post it there. OR tune to TV channels NBC, ABC, WUAB, CBS, or FOX for up-to-date information on school closings. In addition, Channel 22 (Time Warner) and Channel 18 (wowway) will have up-to-date information on school closings, as well. Do not call the school or bus garage unless it is an emergency.
HOW MANY DAYS CAN WE TAKE?
School districts are required to be in school for a minimum number of hours per grade level per year. Once a district falls below that minimum number of hours, students will be required to make up those hours. We hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process we use in making the safest possible decision for all students and staff in our District.