As the seasons finally begin to change, colder weather is upon us, which means that it is time to review our Inclement Weather Plan. As with any decision made, student safety has been and will continue to be our top priority. I believe that by being proactive and having a strong plan in place, we can ensure student safety and approach the winter season and colder temperatures with confidence. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our procedures and communication options so that when the time comes, you too are prepared.
“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 his/her most difficult decisions is whether to close, delay, or open school on days of inclement weather. It is a difficult decision because it is based upon the probability of safely transporting our students. The process begins at 4:30 a.m. traveling the roads to check on conditions. During this time, district officials are in constant contact with law enforcement agencies, weather stations and other area superintendents and transportation directors for the latest update on the weather. We strive to make our 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 rather early, there may be a need to make a revision later in the morning due to 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/EARLY DISMISS SCHOOL?
• Weather forecasts from radio and television stations
• Time when snow, ice or freezing rain is expected to start and end
• Predicted amount of snow, ice or freezing rain accumulation
• Weather conditions expected after the snow, ice or freezing rain
• Assessments from multiple local, state and law enforcement agencies
• School district’s assessment of school parking lot safety and accessibility of buildings
• 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.
EMERGENCY CLOSING/DELAY INFORMATION SOURCES
Television – WBKO-TV (13), WKRN-TV (2), WSMV-TV (4), WTVF-TV (5),
Radio – WRUS AM 610, ONE CALL
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 information in a timely manner. The announcement of school closing and/or delay is
made on most of the local television and radio stations as soon as possible. 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
our school principals or feel free to contact Russellville Schools Transportation
Department at (270) 726-8405.