School cancellations are never easy, regardless of how much some students might enjoy them. We do take into consideration all factors when calling off school due to weather conditions, from safe travel by students who drive, to buses starting and then driving on rural roads, to potential wait time at bus stops, to students who may walk to school with potentially dangerous wind chill levels (-20 below or colder). In addition, we also consider impending weather conditions that might be coming which could create travel problems at dismissal, resulting in early dismissal for our students. Usually, if there is an early dismissal, it will be after lunch since we want to be sure that our students have the opportunity to have a hot lunch prior to being dismissed. These are never easy decisions, but ones that we take very seriously and always consider safety as our number one priority.
For those of you unaware, public schools have 180 attendance days of school during a school calendar year. This means that if there is a school cancellation in the winter, the day must be made up at the end of the school year. Regardless if emergency days are used or not during the year, the students will attend the same amount of days every year. Therefore, whether school is cancelled or not has nothing to do with school district funding since all public schools have to go the same number of days. School emergency days are purely for the sake of safety for our students.
There can be several days in the year that are extremely cold, but school is still in session. Obviously, we cannot cancel school just because it is cold otherwise we will be going to school all summer as well. Consequently, the district has temperature benchmarks and wind chill benchmarks that guide us in making the decision on whether or not school will be cancelled. Please review a travel plan and/or a busing plan with your child for those types of days - just in case there is a problem and they need to find shelter or alternate travel arrangements to and from school. In addition, please make arrangements to be home and/or to transport your child if need be. If we do cancel school, I will do my best to make the call as early as we can so that we are able to give parents as much time as possible to arrange child care.
Another added feature that we have been using when cancelling school is our School Messenger system. This is a communication convenience that we now use to ensure that all parents/guardians are aware of the cancellation or early dismissal. This system will send you an automated phone call / text / email notification. If you have not received these messages from our previous cancellations this year or need a change in contact information, please let us know and/or update your status at registration. We hope that this service has helped you in your preparation plans for emergency days during the school year.