Snow Day – How the decision is made
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 the school. But, as always, our top priority is the safety of our students.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that we make the decision to 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 precipitation will continue throughout the day.
- Temperature and wind chill. Wind chills at or below -15F during key walking and waiting for bus times are given special consideration.
- 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?
As Superintendent of Schools, I am ultimately responsible for the final decision based on the above factors and recommendations from the Director of Facilities, Grounds and Transportation.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
We strive to make the decision to close by 5:45 a.m. or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations. Keep in mind that unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. Please stay tuned to the media and communication outlets.
WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN?
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, but we will give as much notice as possible through the previous mentioned stations.
Although my staff and I do our absolute best in this process, we 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 judgment 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.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
The Garfield Heights City Schools website will post the closing immediately at http://www.garfieldheightscityschools.com/. If you have entered your phone number into the One Call Now list, you will receive an automated phone call to the number you have listed.
Tune to TV channels NBC, ABC, WUAB, FOX, and WOIO for up-to-date information on school closings.
Do not call the school or bus garage unless it is an emergency.
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.