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 4:30 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 Information Officer:
1. School opens at the normal time;
The decision to close or delay school, including how long to delay, will be announced to the news media, shared via Connect-Ed ®, posted on the GCS Website (www.gcsnc.com), GCS social media outlets and broadcast on GCSTV 2 not later than 5 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 news media or GCS web/TV 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.
If a school/or group of schools may be delayed due to reasons other than inclement weather, the Regional Superintendent will make the decision in consultation with the Principal and Chief Information Officer.
Whenever possible, if a decision regarding school closing can be made the evening prior, the Chief Information Officer shall notify the Superintendent of the recommendation and seek final approval no later than 9:30 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), GCS social media outlets and broadcast on GCSTV 2. Connect-Ed ® also will be used to make this announcement. Whenever possible, GCS will make announcements in time for the 10 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 a.m.
High Schools - In the event that school is closed due to inclement weather conditions, all school activities will be canceled, unless permission to proceed has been coordinated by the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Student Services Officer. If school is canceled due to unfavorable road conditions, activity buses will not be operated. 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 coordinated by the Chief Information Officer and 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 – Principals are charged with monitoring weather conditions that might impact their schools. Principals and/or their designees are asked to monitor an all-weather radio at all times when school is in session. 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 – Principals are charged with monitoring weather conditions that might impact their schools. 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 arrive 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.
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 regarding professional development activities please contact Randy Shiflett, Director of Professional Development, 665-8003.