“SNOW ALERT” Inclement Weather Plan
To Close or Not to Close ----- That is the Question
Any Superintendent or Transportation Director will tell you that one of the most difficult decisions to make is whether to close, delay, or open school on days of inclement weather. This is a challenge because it is based upon the probability of students and staff traveling safely to our schools. The process begins at 4:00 a.m., with district personnel and weather spotters strategically placed throughout the county, and monitoring road conditions. During this time, district officials are in consistent contact with Bowling Green officials, law enforcement agencies, and the news media for the latest update on weather forecasts. The goal is to make a decision no later than 5:30 a.m., in order to inform our district parents, students, and employees in a timely manner.
Because this decision is made early in the morning, there may be a need for a revision later, if there are rapidly changing weather conditions. It is important for parents to continue checking television and radio stations after the initial announcement, in the event weather conditions dictate a change. Although we realize these decisions are subject to second-guessing, I ask that you remember all decisions are based solely upon the safety of our children, and we will always err on the side of caution.
WHAT FACTORS GO INTO MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE/DELAY/ or DISMISS EARLY?
- Weather forecasts from radio and television stations (the time snow/ice or freezing rain is expected to start and end)
- Predicted amount of snow/ice accumulation
- Weather conditions expected after the snow/ice
- Assessments of road conditions by school officials, Kentucky Department of Transportation, and various law enforcement agencies
- Assessment of school parking lots and accessibility to each building
- Anticipated impact on traffic
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WEATHER BECOMES SEVERE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
Every effort is made to keep students in school through regular dismissal; however, it may become necessary to dismiss students earlier than normal to ensure their safe transport. School officials monitor weather conditions throughout the day in consultation with local weather officials, the Kentucky Department of Transportation, and various law enforcement officials.
HOW CAN PARENTS BE READY?
Parents should always be prepared for an early dismissal by having an identified procedure for their child to follow in these situations. We request parents not drive to school to pick up children who normally ride the school bus in the afternoon. This additional traffic created at school may complicate an early dismissal by increasing traffic both at the school and on the local roads. In addition, it may hamper communication efforts by school employees who are working quickly to ensure each child has a safe transport home.
EMERGENCY CLOSING/DELAY INFORMATION SOURCES:
- WBKO-TV (13) WTVF-TV (5) WKRN-TV (2)
- WBVR-RADIO WCLU-RADIO WCVK-RADIO
- WGGC-RADIO WKCT-RADIO WKLX-RADIO
- WKYU-RADIO WPTQ-RADIO WSM-RADIO
- WCPS Alert Now Messaging System
We ask that parents and students do not telephone the schools or the district office for information pertaining to the operation of schools on days of inclement weather. Due to limited staffing in our offices, these calls may delay our ability to notify school staff and the public of important decisions in a timely manner. An announcement of school closing and/or a delay will be made on most of the local television and radio stations as soon as possible. You will receive this information via Twitter at @WarrenCoschools, @robclayton10, and through our Alert Now email and phone call services.
I trust this communication provides you with relevant information, and allows you to better understand our process to ensure your child’s safety during inclement weather. Please share your questions with your child’s principal or feel free to contact the Warren County Schools Transportation Department at 842-8311. Thank you for entrusting us with the safety of your child each day. Take care!