When I have the opportunity to speak with the students the question asked most often is, “Are you going to give us a lot of snow days?” I know the students love snow days, but I know the change in schedule impacts parents because they need to make alternative plans for their children that day. My number one concern is the safety of the children. The current weather, temperature and future weather or all factors in making a decision to hold school, delay or cancel.
I will list the process that I go through to determine if we should delay school for two hours or cancel school.
- I check the current weather on the news and their prediction of what the weather will be like for the remainder of the day.
- I contact road departments for their input on the condition of the roads and their expertise on when travel will be safe. I also speak to the Police Department about calls for help and traffic accidents.
- Knowing students will be walking to bus stops and waiting on buses, I consider the amount of time the child will be outside.
- I drive around the school district to check on sidewalks and slippery roads.
- I speak with the surrounding schools superintendents to get their input and what decision they are making. Keep in mind that neighboring districts may not have similar style of roads, (roads that have a lot of curves, drifting areas, hilly roads, or a road department that starts later than Baltimore’s).
- I speak with our Bus Transportation Director, Mr. Kevin Mapes, and get his input.
2 Hour Delays:
- I use this option when the roads are sloppy but all the information that I have is the road crews just need a little more time to plow and get salt on the roads. The weather is not expected to get worse.
- Weather is cold but will warm up when the sun rises. I use Negative 10 as the guide that I will delay at this wind chill temperature with the temperature warming when the sun rises.
School is Canceled:
- Roads are slippery, the road crews will be on the roads all day, sidewalk are snow covered and icy, and more snow is coming.
- Weather is just too cold for young children to be outside for an extended period of time. I make the assumption that students will be outside for 20 minutes waiting on the bus. Once the wind chill reaches a temperature of Negative 15 or more, school will be canceled.
Obviously, this is not an exact science and the weather is unpredictable, but I use all the information available to me during the 4 AM - 6 AM window of time. I will make every effort to make the decision to cancel school or delay school by 6 AM. The absolute worst case scenario is the information on hand leads me to a decision to delay school and the weather changes, and I need to cancel school. I will avoid this scenario, but it is possible.
How will you be notified of school closing or delays?
- One Call Now – You will receive a phone from the district.
- District Website – This is updated the moment the decision is made to cancel or delay.
- Social Media – District Facebook page, Twitter
- Television Stations, Channels 4, 6 and 10 are notified.
If you are new to the Liberty Union Thurston School District, please contact the main office of your child’s school to make sure your proper contact number is on file for the One Call Now. If you changed phone numbers or want to change the contact number please contact the building secretary at your child’s school to update.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me. Go LIONS !
Superintendent of “The Place To Be”
Liberty Union Thurston Schools