We are only a few days away from the start of November and the weather forecast is already changing for next week. Temperatures are predicted to drop with even a small chance of snow. It’s amazing how quickly the weather changes just a couple weeks ago it was 90 degrees. As we look at the forecast for next week, we don’t anticipate winter weather that will have any impact on school operations. At some point over the coming months we will have winter weather that impacts our ability to operate school in a safe manor.
As a result we make changes to our school schedule, but the real impact is on parents when you receive the phone call at 6:00 am that school has been canceled, or we have a late start. We understand the disruption this causes to families across our district; so the decision is not taken lightly. The decision making process doesn’t just begin at 6:00 am. When inclement weather is forecasted we adhere to following steps:
- 4:00-5:00 am
- Review current forecast with AccuWeather
- Pawnee County Roads Department contacted
- Roads are evaluated by superintendent and transportation director
- 5:00 am
- Review current forecast AccuWeather (call National Weather Service if necessary)
- Conference with superintendent, transportation director, and maintenance director
- 5:15-5:30 am
- Communicate with area Superintendents
- 5:30 am
- We must make a decision about delay or closing by this time to allow ample time for communication
- 5:45 am
- If Delay or Closing:
- Communicate with Board of Education, Admin. Team, Directors, District Office Staff
- Post on Media (KSNW, KWCH, KAKE)
- Post on Website, Facebook and Twitter
- 6:00 am
- Push out voice and text message through automated notification system
- If we delay, we must make a decision to open or close by 7:00 am
We evaluate county road conditions, county highway conditions, city street conditions, and our facility conditions. The wind chill temperatures are also considered when making a decision about a delay or closing. We have numerous kids that wait at bus stops throughout the community and that could be an extremely dangerous situation in the morning. This is never an easy decision, but we will always err on the side of caution when it involves the transportation of our students. Parents also always have the ability to keep their students home due to inclement weather and it will be an excused absence. If at all possible, we try not to have a delay, this makes it extremely difficult for parents to find a way to get students to school at 10:00 am. But, sometimes that is our best option, the district needs that additional time to get everyone into the school safely. If based on the forecast, especially if we have been placed in a winter warning, we will make a decision the night before by 8:00 pm. This provides parents additional time to make arrangements for their students.
As you prepare for the inclement weather season of school, please begin to make plans and arrangements for your students when the district cancels school or implements a late start. We will do our best to provide you ample time in making changes to our school operations. Student and staff safety will be our top priority and we appreciate your support.