It’s snowing, getting a bit cold, and school’s still on! What makes a school district decide when to cancel, and what happens before that to make the decision? Lots of gears start spinning in the early morning hours of inclement weather. Here’s a look at how campus operations function, and what all goes in to actually making the call to cancel, and what happens if we don’t.
Who Makes the Decision to Close Schools During Bad Weather?
The ultimate decision maker to close a school district is the Superintendent of Schools. For Streetsboro City Schools, that’s Mr. Daulbaugh. He, together with a team of directors (Facilities and Transportation) consult with local police, fire, and city officials to determine if the roads are in a condition that would warrant cancelling, often starting around 4 AM or earlier when the weather forecast calls for snow. Neighboring superintendents are often contacted for a wider area approach, but the decision to close lies with each district’s superintendent.
OK, school’s closed – now what?
- Once the decision is made to close school, the Streetsboro team swings into full action to communicate that news to as many channels as possible.
- Mr. Daulbaugh typically records a snow day message, and activates the all-call system that sends phone blasts, email, and texts to all the contact numbers we currently have.
- Our district posts on the main Twitter account, as well as all of the building accounts. Here’s a full listing of social media accounts at Streetsboro.
- We also post on our website, https://www.scsrockets.org/, right on the front page.
- In addition to the above channels, we also communicate to a number of TV stations for listing with their services. We try our best in reaching as many people as possible, as quickly as we can.
What Happens on Campus to Prepare During Inclement Weather?
What happens if the district doesn’t close for snow, or other inclement weather? Lots of things! For one, we get here super early to begin clearing operations, preparing road surfaces, shoveling sidewalks, and warming up the buses.
Typically, we have crews starting between 3-4 AM with plowing & salting if needed, and our transportation team get the buses ready before 5:30 AM. To see what that looks like, check out this short snippet from the morning of January 10th, 2019.
If the weather is bad during bus pick up in the morning, or drop off in the afternoon, we ask our drivers to take it nice and slow, and drive with safety as the number one priority. That means buses will be a bit later than usual, so be ready to wait a few more minutes. If it’s cold outside (likely in this scenario), get ready with your hat, gloves, and scarf!
We hope this winter bus riding season will be the best yet for our students, and look forward to making riding the school bus a safe and expeditious experience for all stakeholders. We need your help in making sure kids are prepared with the clothing they need to be out in colder temperatures, and what to expect in snowy weather.
Director of Technology & Transportation
Streetsboro City Schools