SCHOOL CLOSURE POLICY
Snow Day Determination
We were fortunate to experience mild weather during the first quarter. However, we all know that colder, inclement weather is just around the corner. With the changing weather conditions come difficult decisions as I look at determining district snow days. Various factors are examined before a decision is made to cancel school, have a late start, or dismiss students early.
Warnings and Watches (Storm, Blizzard, High Winds) – The National Weather Service issues warnings and watches and provides the District with up-to-date weather information.
Road Conditions – Roads in town often look very different from the rural roads. All of our bus routes require dirt road remote travel.
We (Superintendent, Transportation Director, Maintenance Supervisor and Bus Drivers) communicate frequently throughout the decision-making process. Elbert County Road and Bridge, Elbert County Office of Emergency Management, and all surrounding school Superintendents communicate to make a fully informed decision. Road and Bridge shares the road conditions throughout the county as well as probable plowing and snow removal schedules. Please keep in mind, the county road and bridge services have been impacted by the ongoing budget cuts.
Sometimes a “call” to cancel school is made in the very early hours of the morning and Mother Nature surprises us, going against all predictions. As we all know, the weather can also turn out worse than predicted. When making the decision, student and staff safety is always paramount. All students and activities in the school are important but nothing is more critical than everyone’s safety and well-being. Also keep in mind that many of our staff live in outlying communities, thus adding another dynamic to the decision-making process. If we have to cover our school day with numerous substitutes, this impacts our decision. Please understand that making a snow day determination is never taken lightly and is always a difficult one. Despite our best efforts and information gathering, we are sometimes fooled by the experts’ “wrong” call.
The Colorado Department of Education requires a minimum number of educational hours per year, which we build our school calendar around. Please note that we knowingly schedule an excess number of hours to account for our inclement weather/road conditions. The 2019-2020 calendar has 12.06 excess days calculated above the required minimum hours. Therefore, you should be prepared to have a plan for your student if school is dismissed early or a snow day is necessary. All families should make advance arrangements for their children in case of school closure. As we continue to put student and staff safety first, we certainly appreciate your support.
The school will notify parents and guardians via the SchoolMessenger Alert system, the Elbert website, and TV stations 2, 4, 7, 9, 20 and 31 from Denver and stations 11 and 13 from Colorado Springs, that a delayed start has been enacted. School will start two hours later than normal. Buses will run and students will be picked up 2 hours later than their normally scheduled pick up time. Preschool is cancelled when there is a delayed start.
The school will notify parents and guardians via the SchoolMessenger Alert system, the Elbert website, and TV stations 2, 4, 7, 9, 20 and 31 from Denver and stations 11 and 13 from Colorado Springs, that a school cancellation has been enacted.
If the administration determines that it is necessary to release the students at a time earlier than normal, parents and guardians will be notified via the SchoolMessenger Alert system and the Elbert website. Secondary students will be allowed to contact their parents directly and teachers will make every effort to contact parents of elementary students.