INCLEMENT WEATHER PROCEDURES

November 21, 2017

Parents, Guardians, and Colleagues:

Winter is approaching so I wanted to share information about the process for closing schools.  Here are some general philosophies regarding school closure decisions:

  • I will use weather forecasts, radar, personal reconnaissance, and the opinions of colleagues in the decision-making process
  • Safety is our top priority so, when in doubt, I will err on the side of caution
  • I will make the decision as soon as possible to give families a better chance to plan.  I will not comment about the likelihood of cancelling school in advance of the decision.
  • After the decision to cancel school is made, I will sometimes send a follow-up email explaining the factors involved.  I will not typically send notices that school will be open as scheduled.
  • Whenever a weather decision is made, I typically receive at least 20 emails, which, regardless of the decision, are mostly critical.  In fact, parents occasionally say terribly hurtful things to me.  Therefore, after the decision is made, I will not read or reply to weather-related emails.

Methods of Notification

  1. Lion Alerts Texts:  I will text the announcement.  You can sign up to receive texts via Lion Alerts here:  http://my.textcaster.com/asa/Default.aspx?ID=fce7ff69-34a4-4e72-a4c4-8e75ca6bd3fe
  2. Email:  I will also send an email to all parents and employees
  3. Twitter:  I will also make the announcement via Twitter @dstufflebeam
  4. Media:  We are part of a media notification cooperative, which will air our closing announcements on KMBC TV 9, KCTV 5, WDAF TV 4, KSHB TV 41, KMBZ AM 980, KFKF FM 94.1, KCUR FM 89.3

Cold Weather Cancellations

  1. Extreme cold weather can prevent our diesel buses from operating properly and/or endanger students.
  1. In preparation for cold weather cancellations, the National Weather Service (NWS) has a very helpful wind chill and frostbite graph, which you can see here:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/cold/wind_chill.shtml
  2. In order to err on the side of caution as promised, I will use a wind chill temperature of negative 15 degrees Fahrenheit as the cut-off point for cancelling school.  For your convenience, the decision will be made the night before using the 7:00 a.m. NWS forecast located at this site:  http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=39.2482&lon=-94.8875&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical

Contingency Plans

  1. For your convenience, I will not delay the start of school.  I will avoid dismissing school early whenever possible but circumstances may require it so please plan for that contingency.
  2. The decision to cancel school must be made by 6:00 a.m.  It is possible that conditions will worsen between then and the start of school.  If so, I cannot reverse the decision without endangering students because buses and many parents will have already departed.  Therefore, if conditions worsen after 6:00 a.m., you will need to use your best judgement as to whether or not to send students to school.
  3. Parents always have the option to excuse an absence due to inclement weather or local road conditions.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding school closures or if I can be any other service.  Thank you.

Darrel Stufflebeam, Superintendent of Schools
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