The month of November not only brings a time of Thanksgiving, it also brings the snow and cold temperatures! I get many questions as to how we determine “snow days” in our District, and am often praised or criticized by whatever decision I make. Because of this, I share our procedures on a yearly basis.
Each evening and early into the morning, our Transportation Director and I check the weather forecast for the next day. We closely watch the predictions hourly, but because they are not always accurate, we take added precautions to make sure the roadways are safe. Our Transportation Director begins roughly at 4:30 a.m. to make contacts throughout the District on road conditions as we need to make our determination by 5:30 a.m. because our busses leave shortly thereafter. He then calls to report conditions to me. Our District spans some 250 square miles, so road conditions can be very different depending on where you live. I then make the determination as to whether we should proceed, cancel, or delay based on the information presented. Sometimes the conditions are fine early in the morning, but deteriorate without warning. Because we have two separate bus runs, a two-hour delay only works in our District if it takes the first run out of a storm without putting the second run into worsening conditions.
Parents are sometimes upset with my decision, but again, our District is large and we determine based on the entire District. If at any time a parent feels that the weather is too severe for their child to attend school, they merely need to send a note to school indicating such. We will not count it as an illegal absence. I want parents to understand that we respect these decisions and that they are again based on individual locations and student needs. Student safety is of primary importance to us!