As the winter season approaches, the following information may help parents better understand the process our District uses when making the decision to open or close school, offer a two-hour delayed start or resort to an early release due to inclement weather.
These decisions are based upon a careful analysis of relevant factors, such as:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff, local law enforcement and state, county and township road crews (as warranted). Please keep in mind that road conditions can vary dramatically throughout our district;
- Amount of accumulated snow and ice;
- Whether precipitation is expected to continue throughout the day;
- Temperature and wind chill (wind chills at or below -15°F to -20°F during key walking and waiting-for-bus times are given special consideration);
- Impact on our transportation fleet (school bus diesel fuel begins to gel at an ambient temperature of 0 degrees);
- Weather predictions (including those from our own satellite system and local radar);
- Timing of storm;
- Building conditions (is there electricity and heat?);
- Parking lot conditions;
- What other surrounding districts are doing.
TIMING OF THE DECISION: We strive to make our decision by 5:30 a.m., or earlier. However, keep in mind that unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time.
NOTIFICATION: Our District uses a variety of resources to notify parents and staff of school closings, including our automated phone call system, District website (www.highlandschools.org), social media sites and e-newsletter. Closing notifications are also announced on TV and radio stations and posted on many storm alert and school closing websites.
TWO-HOUR DELAY: If our District is on a two-hour delay, there will be NO services for AM LatchKey or AM Preschool. When a two-hour delay is called, the school day starts two hours later than normal, but ends at the regular time. Bus pick-up times are adjusted accordingly. This includes busing for non-public (parochial) students. (Example: If your child is normally picked up at 7:15 a.m., the bus will arrive at 9:15 a.m. on a two-hour delay.) Students who attend the Medina County Career Center in the morning will operate on a two-hour delay as well and will be transported to the MCCC at 9:30 a.m. Mid-day schedule operates as usual.
If a two-hour delay is called, it is important to have alternative plans in place for childcare as needed. In addition, it is equally important to plan for the entire day to be cancelled. During a two-hour delay, it may be decided that weather conditions or other conditions have not improved enough to hold school for the remainder of the day. Parents will need to monitor information communicated from the District during the delay, including our automated phone call system, e-newsletters, website and social media sites to adjust plans accordingly.