School Closing Information
With winter months comes the possibility of school closures and schedule changes. The decision to close school due to weather conditions is based on one factor; the safety of our students and staff. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about emergencies school closures:
How are decisions made about school closures, and how will I know?
The district makes every effort to decide and announce decisions to close the school before 6 AM. This plan and review process actually begins the night before. Once a decision is made, messages will be sent to all families through school TextCaster, Facebook, and local media will be notified.
What factors go into the decision?
Weather and road conditions are checked beginning the night before. The school will be closed on days when roads, school parking lot, and or school driveways and walkways are considered to be unsafe for school bus transportation and student travel. There are times when blacktop highways are clear, but the gravel roads are not, which will prevent our buses from driving safely on these roads. If a decision is made to have school and run special snow routes, individual people will be notified as to the changes. The superintendent makes the decision to close the school as early as possible on the morning in question. In the vast majority of cases, this will be done before 6:00 AM.
The superintendent gathers as much information as possible before making the decision. The superintendent and transportation director monitor ongoing weather reports, road conditions from the Missouri Department of Transportation and local and state law-enforcement agencies. “Weather spotters”, such as transportation personnel arriving at school, and maintenance crew members assigned to plow the parking lots and sidewalks, are consulted. The superintendent communicates with area school superintendents before 6 AM before making a final decision. If classes are to be canceled, the superintendent will notify local media - television and radio between 5 and 6 AM. A text and email alerts will also be sent out using our Hornet Alert System, and a message will be placed on the district's Facebook Page. The following television stations will be notified; KRCG/Channel 13, KOMU/Channel 8, and KMIZ/Channel 17. Please remember that our district also implements a 2-hour late start option if necessary. Every effort will be made to call a 2-hour late start no later than 9:00 p.m the evening before. However, there may be times when the decision will be made that morning. Morning delays will be made as early as possible before the Before Care program begins.
Is there a set temperature to cause the district to close school?
No. There’s no set temperature that would cause the district to close school, but is one of the many factors, along with road conditions, that are taken into consideration when making a school closing decision. Extreme temperatures may cause schools to limit recess and extracurricular activities.
How can I make sure my student is safe?
Since parents are primary protectors, they must decide what is best for their children. In cold weather, students should be dressed appropriately. Please send your child to school with appropriate clothing and shoes. No one can predict when a fire alarm might go off or if buildings must be evacuated due to an emergency.
Parents are urged to make arrangements at the beginning of each school year for their children in case of school closures. Children should know where to go if a parent is not home and how to contact parents/guardians. Parent contact information, including work telephone numbers, should be kept up-to-date with the school office.
Doug Kempker, Superintendent