The snow day decision is one of the most unpopular decisions a superintendent can make. Half of our constituents will like the decision, the other half won’t. When we have to make a decision about whether or not to close, I want to emphasize our number one priority is the safety of students and staff. With that in mind, I want to share with you the steps we take to make sure that decision is the best decision that can be made with the facts we have at the time.
When we hear a forecast of possible snow, we start implementing our plan. We have a team who closely monitors the weather throughout the night. They check the radar, consult with local meteorologists, and then either reset their alarms for an hour later or get ready to drive the roads. All areas of the county are covered by this experienced team as they check the routes our buses travel. Ideally, by 5:00 a.m., they conference to discuss their findings, and come to consensus on the recommendation they will make. I then make the call to cancel, delay, or go as scheduled based on their information. Once that decision is made, we go to the next phase of the plan IF we decide to cancel or delay: public announcements.
We send out notifications first through Infinite Campus Messenger, then Facebook, Twitter and our website. Our goal is to have that notice out by 5:30 a.m. We then notify the media so we can get that information out on television news stations. Please note we only notify if there is a delay or closing.
This plan varies a bit if we have a snow event that could keep us out of school for a couple of days. We will try to make the announcement as timely as possible so parents can make childcare plans. Keep in mind, it’s not always easy to make that call early. We also remind you that occasionally, we have to make a decision based on a forecast. And since meteorology is not an exact science, sometimes that forecast doesn’t pan out. Please remember we are doing our best to do what’s best for students.
Other items of interest for parents concerning snow days.
School based after school enrichment centers MAY be open. The message through Infinite Campus and on social media will indicate whether enrichment centers will be closed, or will open at 8 a.m.
Extracurricular activities will be reviewed on an individual basis by the school principal in conjunction with central office input. There have been many instances where roads were too treacherous for school to begin but were clear by the afternoon.
Greg Schultz, Superintendent
Oldham County Schools
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