Inclement Weather Plan
2011-2012 Inclement Weather Plan
How does Guilford County Schools (GCS) determine whether to close or delay school when inclement weather is predicted?
The Superintendent has assigned responsibility to the Director of Transportation for recommending whether to close or delay school or release students early when inclement weather is predicted. The director and a staff of 15 Transportation Supervisors are assigned to areas of Guilford County to check the roads and weather conditions throughout the county.
When predicted inclement weather threatens to make road conditions unsafe for school bus travel, the Transportation Supervisors review assigned roads and advise the Director of Transportation of the road conditions by 5 a.m. The director takes into consideration all reports received from supervisors regarding road conditions, reviews radar images, consults with the local branch of the National Weather Service, and makes one of the following recommendations to the Chief Operations Officer:
The decision to close or delay school, including how long to delay, will be announced to the media, via Connect-Ed ®, posted on the GCS Website (www.gcsnc.com) and on GCSTV 2 not later than 5:30 a.m. by the Chief of Staff. If school opens at the normal time, an announcement will not be made. Therefore, no announcement in the media indicates that school will operate on a normal schedule. If inclement weather occurs after the school day has begun, a decision regarding early release will be made as quickly as possible.
Whenever possible, if a decision regarding school closing can be made the evening prior, the Chief Operations Officer shall notify the Superintendent of the recommendation and seek final approval no later than 4:30 p.m.
If schools close for the day, road conditions will be reviewed again that afternoon and observations reported in time for the evening news, whenever possible. If road conditions are not likely to improve before the next morning, school will be canceled.
Notification will be announced to the news media, posted on the GCS Website (www.gcsnc.com) and broadcast on GCSTV 2. Connect-Ed ® will also be used to make this announcement. Whenever possible, the announcement will be made in time for the 6 p.m. evening news reports.
If the afternoon review finds that school is a possibility for the next day, the decision may be deferred until the next morning and the announcement will be made by 5:30 a.m.
Extended School Cancellation Due to Inclement Weather:
By the end of the fifth school day, if some roads remain unsafe for school bus travel and are not likely to be safe for school bus travel within the next three days, Bus Drivers or Transportation Supervisors will call parents/guardians of students who have provided their telephone number (see below) and who live on impassable roads. Drivers will provide them with a recommended nearby bus stop/stop time on a cleared road. The parent/guardian needs to advise the bus driver or transportation supervisor if he/she will or will not bring the student to the suggested alternate bus stop location to ride the bus. For planning purposes, and to avoid confusion, the alternate stop will be the drop-off point for that child that afternoon. The bus driver will provide the student with a note at the afternoon drop-off explaining to parents/guardians as to where the bus stop will be the next morning.
If a student is picked up from or dropped off at a child care center, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to advise the child care center to accommodate this plan and meet the bus at the alternate location.
Bus drivers have been instructed to solicit all students’ home telephone numbers via a standard Guilford County Schools form signed by the director of transportation. Parents/guardians are asked to complete the form and return it directly to the bus driver. Bus drivers for special needs students already have home telephone numbers but parents of special needs students will be asked to validate that number with the driver during a student pick-up or drop-off.
High Schools - On the first day that schools are closed due to inclement weather conditions, all school activities will be canceled, unless permission to proceed has been given by the Chief Student Services Officer. Under no circumstance should students be penalized for failure to attend activities when school is closed, even when special permission to proceed has been granted.
Elementary and Middle Schools – No school activities, including the ACES program, games, practices, rehearsals, performances, etc., shall take place when school is closed or dismissed early due to inclement weather, unless permission to proceed has been given by the Chief Student Services Officer.
Inclement weather conditions may also cause after-school activities to be cancelled on days schools close at the regular time. These closings will be announced by the school, broadcast on GCSTV 2 and posted online at www.gcsnc.com.
Severe Weather – Watches and Warnings
Severe Weather Watch – Transportation operations will proceed as usual during a severe weather watch. The Director of Transportation monitors conditions to ensure safe travel can be made by school buses. In order to maintain consistency in schedules, school buses will not deviate from the normal scheduled routes and will not make additional bus stops.
Severe Weather Warning – If a severe weather warning is issued before buses are loaded and away from campus, bus operations will be suspended and the students, under the direction of their principal, will take shelter in the school building until the warning is expired. If a severe weather warning is issued after buses have departed from the school, bus drivers will be instructed to proceed cautiously to a safe area to park the bus until the storm warning has expired.
ACES Inclement Weather Plan
If school is closed early, ACES does not operate. ACES parents must pick up their children by the announced school closing time.
School Is Dismissed at Regular Time, But After-School Activities Are Canceled
When the school day ends at the regular time but after-school activities such as athletics and tutoring are canceled, ACES still operates. ACES parents are strongly encouraged to pick up children as early as possible so the family and ACES staff can get home before roads are unsafe.
ACES does not operate when school is closed for students. Even if the day is designated as an Optional Teacher Workday, ACES does not operate on days when school is canceled due to inclement weather.
In 2011-12, every ACES All-Day is a school day for one or more schools (extended-year and year-round elementary schools, middle/early college high schools, or regular 10-month schools).
If school is closed, any ACES All-Day scheduled for that day is canceled.
If school opening is delayed, the opening time for the ACES All-Day is delayed by the same amount of time. Ex. If school is delayed for 2 hours, the ACES All-Day is delayed from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
School closing information can be obtained on the GCS Website at www.gcsnc.com,
Weather conditions and other considerations may result in GCS making decisions regarding ACES operations other than those listed above.
Professional Development Inclement Weather Plan
When the school day schedule is changed due to inclement weather, the following procedures will apply for conducting scheduled professional development activities. A separate announcement regarding professional development activities will not be made.
For additional information please contact Randy Shiflett, Director of Professional Development, 312-3930.