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Inclement Weather

Tri-City CUSD #1 Emergency School Closing Procedures

 

It is important that the school has all updated phone numbers.  Emergency school closing announcements will be given through our Skylert (automated call system), posted on our district website and Facebook accounts, and over local radio/television media. 

 

Canceling school is one of the more complex decisions a Superintendent must make. The decision to dismiss early or close school due to inclement weather has an enormous effect on all of our families. The following information may help you understand the process that is used when making this critical decision.

When inclement weather impacts the District, I make the decision to dismiss or close school based upon a careful analysis of the following factors:

  • By driving some of our roads and assessing key roads/intersections that our buses need to navigate.

  • By assessing the available information on road conditions from law enforcement and local road commissioners.

  • By assessing the amount of accumulated snow and/or ice, or the density of the fog.

  • By determining whether or not the precipitation is predicted to continue throughout the day.

  • By assessing the temperature and wind chill.

  • By determining the impact on our transportation fleet.

  • By examining weather predictions from satellite systems, local radar and the National Weather Service.

  • By assessing the timing of the storm.

  • By holding discussions with area Superintendents beginning the prior evening and continuing again around 5:00 am.

There may be times that you believe we should have cancelled school or when you believe school should have been in session. Our district is 97 square miles, which is mainly country roads.  The final decision on whether to cancel school or not is based upon the overall condition of the District and the safety of all of our children.

If you do not feel it is safe for your child to get to school, use your best judgment as to whether he/she should attend. Please call your respective school office and let them know.

What are some criteria and examples of what would impact a decision to cancel or dismiss school early?  Weather conditions and events are very unpredictable.  It is most likely that I will not cancel or dismiss early based on a weather forecast.  Generally speaking, snow is not a primary reason for closing school.  As long as roads are not drifted shut and road conditions are good, we will be in session.

As for frigid temperatures, wind chill, air temperatures, road conditions, busses starting, and student safety are all taken in consideration.  When school is in session during these cold winter months, please ensure that your children are dressed as warmly as possible (multiple layers) and that outerwear is rated for sub-zero temperatures. 

When is the decision made? I will make every attempt to cancel school by 6:30 am or the previous night by 9:30 pm, so we can initiate the automated call system, notify local radio stations, and notify TV stations. If a school day is dismissed early, the same contacts will be notified.

Will we close school if conditions worsen (early dismissal)? If weather conditions worsen, I will be reluctant to dismiss early. If I send students (especially younger students) back home, some will return to empty houses. Once students arrive at school, I feel that most of the time the safest plan is to keep them at school until the end of the day. However, there may be a time we will dismiss early, in order to get students home before a storm worsens. I am hoping this will be a rare occasion. If this does happen, we will utilize Skylert (automated call system) immediately to notify parents. For your child’s safety, make certain your child knows ahead of time where to go in case of an early dismissal.  If we dismiss early for an emergency, all after-school functions are automatically cancelled.

I hope this explanation helps you understand the process I go through when considering whether or not to cancel school.   If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

 

Jill Larson, Superintendent

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