Earlier this winter I sent out a reminder about our process for calling winter weather related school cancellations and delays. Given the forecast for this week, I thought it appropriate to resend the message and highlight the information regarding temperature/wind chill. Please be aware that the current forecast calls for projected wind-chill over the next two days of as low as -20 degrees, which may require school cancellation(s) or delay(s) on Wednesday and Thursday. As always, I will monitor the forecast and make decisions as early as possible.
SNOW DAYS/CALAMITY DAYS
School days can be canceled or delayed for a variety of weather related events. When winter weather is expected, several members of our team drive our most challenging roads to monitor and make determinations about the ability of our buses to safely transport students to/from school. Sometimes this is a very difficult call. In addition to the current road conditions, we also have to take into account the timing of the weather event and how continued snow or freezing rain will impact travel conditions.
Wind chill and extremely cold temperatures are also cause for decisions to be made. School delays or cancellations may be called when ambient temperature and/or wind chill consistently stays at -10 degrees F or below for several hours during typical bus pickup/school hours of operations.
Generally, the National Weather Service will issue a Wind Chill Advisory or a Wind Chill Warning when this occurs. Some discretion may be used in determining what to do because Advisories may be called at -5 degrees F.
If we must cancel school, the first five days will be forgiven for students. For days six through 10, there have already been dates built into the school calendar. Should more than 11 days be missed, the board of education will adopt a plan to make up the missed class time, however this typically requires days to be added at the end of the school year in May/June.
Thomas J. Gibbs, Ed.D.
Athens City School District