To Close, Delay, or Early Dismiss...What's The Process?
Our district administration understands that our decision to open or close schools in inclement weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served – academically and socially – by being in school. But, as always, our top priority is the safety and health of our students and employees.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
We make the decision to delay or close our schools in bad weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors including, but not limited to:
• Current road conditions
• Current accumulations of snow and/or ice
• Current temperature & wind chill
• Local weather forecasts
• Conditions of buildings and parking lots
• What neighboring school districts are doing
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
Prior to making a final decision on whether to open or close school, our District Superintendent may consult with our Assistant Superintendent, Director of Operations, and other employees that reside in our school district.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
We make every effort to communicate accurate and timely notification of school closings, delays through the use of our district wide call system, our website, Facebook & Twitter, and by contacting local TV and radio stations:
WBNS – 10 TV
WCMH – NBC 4
WSYX – ABC 6
WTTE – FOX 28
|Radio Stations (Partial List)
WTVN – 610AM
WNCI – 97.9 FM
WCOL – 92.3 FM
WSNY – 94.7 FM
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
Every attempt is made to make a decision by 6:00 a.m. or earlier, if possible. We are aware that making a decision the night before is better for everyone involved, but we have to make certain that conditions warrant the need for a delay or closing. Due to that fact, we may not be able to make the decision until the actual morning of the day in question.
Once a decision has been made, our Superintendent notifies the district’s Director of Public Relations and gives the direction to alert parents and students, employees, local news media, and update our web and social media sites.
WHAT DETERMINES A TWO-HOUR DELAY?
At times, by living in Central Ohio, we are exposed to extreme weather conditions that include large quantities of snow, extreme wind chills, or extended days of temperatures below freezing. That being said, our district could be on a two-hour delay for several different reasons; the most common is due to winter weather.
Depending on the amount of snow, ice, sleet, or forecast/registered wind chill**, our district could activate a two-hour delay. This allows us to further evaluate the impact of the weather to determine if we need to close the district or continue operating on a two-hour delay schedule. A two-hour delay provides us with an opportunity to keep our students who ride buses or walk to school out of the elements when they are at their harshest.
A two-hour delay also gives us time to check our buses and make certain they will start and that all systems are working because extreme cold temperatures can impact our transportation fleet in different ways.
** Our Superintendent begins looking closely at forecasts that include wind chill warnings that could surpass -10 degrees as a baseline for initiating a two-hour delay. This isn’t to say that a wind chill of -10 degrees automatically delays the start of school.
NEVER PRESUME THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE DELAYED OR CLOSED
Our district will ALWAYS notify students, parents, and employees when a delay or closing has been initiated by using the phone and media vehicles previously mentioned. Unless you hear something from our district, always presume that school is in session and our district is operating on a regular schedule.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WINTER WEATHER MOVES IN DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
If weather moves into the area during the school day, and our district is prompted to dismiss students early in order for them to make it home as safely as possible, the following dismissal schedule is most frequently utilized. Again, this dismissal schedule could be changed at the discretion of our district Superintendent.
Example Dismissal Schedule – (Could be altered by Superintendent)
• HTHS students that drive will be released 75 minutes early from school.
• HTHS and Hamilton Middle School Bus Riders will be released 60 minutes early.
• Hamilton Intermediate School Bus Riders will be released 15 minutes early.
• Hamilton Elementary School Bus Riders will be released on time.
This schedule allows our student drivers to clear the roads prior to our buses hauling students. The gaps between release times are made so buses can take their time transporting students putting a priority on the safety of our students, and it also helps with traffic flow related to parents picking their children up at different buildings.
We hope this information helps you understand how we come to these decisions and that you know that our goal is to keep students and employees safe during winter weather conditions.
Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2016