By Dr. Todd Hoadley
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding school delays and closures that may be necessitated by inclement weather. Please take a moment to read the information. If you have any additional questions about our procedures, please call (614) 764-5913 or email: [email protected]
Q. How many calamity days are districts allowed this year?
A. When the State of Ohio switched to required school hours instead of required school days, they also dispensed with calamity day allotments for Ohio schools. However, the District’s Board approved calendar states that if the District misses more than six days of school, make up days will take place beginning May 26.
Q. When is the decision to delay or cancel school made?
A. As early as possible. Usually, the decision to delay or cancel school will be made no later than 6:30 a.m. In some cases, the decision may be made the night before, if weather conditions warrant. We usually cannot make decisions to delay or cancel school based upon a forecast alone.
Q. Where should parents check to see if school is canceled or delayed?
A. As soon as a decision is made, the District will use a variety of tools to communicate the decision with parents. The information will appear on the District’s web site, as well as on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. For the absolute fastest weather delay or cancellation notification, follow me on Twitter @toddhoadley. We will also call parents using the District’s parent notification system.
Cancellations and delays will also be mass emailed, texted to those who've opted for a text option, and broadcast on local television and radio stations.
Q. What factors are taken into consideration when making the decision to delay or cancel school?
A. Student safety is the ultimate factor in determining whether school needs to be delayed or canceled. Traction for our buses and for motorists driving in the vicinity of our buses is a prime concern. Visibility for our bus drivers is essential, and wind-chill factors are also considered. We do not want students waiting at bus stops if dangerous wind-chill conditions exist. District personnel monitor local radar information and weather service information to determine if a storm will necessitate a delay of school or a cancellation. We must also take into consideration the conditions of ALL streets and roads in the school district, not just city of Dublin streets. More than 40 percent of our more than 15,500 students do not live in the City of Dublin. City of Dublin streets are often in better condition than rural roads or city of Columbus streets following a snowstorm. There are about 1,400 streets and roads in the District. Due to the size of the District, it is possible we will have adverse driving conditions in one part of the district, while roads are just fine in other parts. The timing of a storm may also be an issue. If snow is falling when buses are set to begin their routes, we may need a delay for road crews to get on top of the situation, or our own plow teams to open a path to the schools before it is safe to proceed with classes.
Q. Are temperatures and wind chills a factor in decision making? A. There is no set temperature or wind chill factor at which the District automatically closes schools, but it is one of the many factors taken into consideration when making decisions. In most cases, schools can remain open when the temperature or wind chill is below zero but delays and/or closures are also possible.
Q. Is it possible school could be delayed due to weather?
A. Yes. The district may implement a two-hour delay depending upon weather conditions. The district will NOT use one-hour delays. It is important for parents to know that if a two-hour delay is announced, they need to continue to check the media and web site for updated information. In scenarios where power does not get restored, a fog does not lift, or road conditions do not improve, two-hour delays may turn into closures. In the event of a two-hour delay, please stay tuned to your local media and the District’s web site as the delay may evolve into a closure.
Q. If the start of a school day must be delayed, how will the day run?
A. Any delay of the start of school due to inclement weather will be a two-hour delay. Whenever there is a two-hour delay due to inclement weather, the District’s bus and start time schedule is pushed back two hours from normal times. In the event of a two-hour delay:
• AM Latchkey will NOT be offered if a two-hour delay is necessary.
• AM Kindergarten and AM Preschool will be canceled.
• AM Kindergarten students who normally stay for the one-hour ELI program will not have the program.
• PM Kindergarten students who come early for the one-hour ELI program, PM Kindergarten and PM Preschool will attend at their normal time.
• Students in the Extended ELI program will follow the elementary schedule, starting the school day two hours later than normally scheduled.
• Fifth grade orchestra will be canceled. Orchestra students should attend their elementary school two hours later than normal.
Q. If school is delayed, what happens to scheduled extracurricular activities?
A. Extracurricular activities will proceed as scheduled if the district must use a two-hour delay due to weather, but please stay tuned to the district’s web site and local media for possible changes depending upon the opponent district’s situation.
Q. If school is canceled, what happens to scheduled extracurricular activities?
A. There will be no practices or games at the middle school level. The only exception would be tournament contests. These may proceed as scheduled if weather conditions allow for safe travel for spectators and athletes (per C.O. approval).· There will be no practice or stand-alone games at the freshmen level. Freshmen games that are part of a high school tripleheader may take place IF the JV/Varsity level contests will also be played as scheduled and travel is safe for athletes and spectators to attend the freshmen contest.
· Only varsity teams may have voluntary practices.
· No varsity practices should be held until after noon. This time would be contingent on the weather conditions at that time and the forecast for the time when students would be returning home. Varsity coaches and athletic directors are responsible for monitoring the weather and insuring student athletes can safely travel to and from a practice or a game.
· Decision about games will be made in collaboration with both schools athletic directors and principals.
Q. What happens if you have to release students early?
A. While we do everything possible to avoid sending students home before their scheduled dismissal time, weather or other factors might necessitate the District to “early release” students. We will call parents using the District’s parent notification system. The information will also appear on the District’s web site, www.dublinschools.net, as well as the District’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Please have an emergency back-up plan in place in the event of an unexpected dismissal.