Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County (CSCSHC)
Inclement Weather and School
- Weather-related decisions are based on numerous variables. Decisions are made with regard to the safety of school bus travel and for the children standing at bus stops.
- Parents have a child-specific perspective regarding their child and the threat of inclement weather.
- A parent may make a determination for their child, and the school corporation should respect the perspective of parent regarding their child.
- The CSCSHC respects a parent’s determination regarding their child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open, or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination. The student will be counted as absent, per state code, and students will be given an opportunity to complete their academic work in the same manner as an excused absence from school.
- The CSCSHC believes the public expects schools to be open and to provide education, supervision, and other services (including meals) to its students when it is safe to do so.
- The CSCSHC believes all parents are committed to keeping children safe, and these parents will dress their children appropriately for the weather when sending children to school.
- Variable weather conditions are to be expected in Central Indiana. The CSCSHC believes parents have plans in place for weather-related delays and closures and believe morning notification is generally appropriate.
The Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock Schools (CSCSHC)
Delaying or Closing School is Based on Multiple Variables
- Fog can be very tricky. Like all weather situations, the timing is critical. Fog can move in and blanket the area quickly. We will consider how greatly visibility is impacted and always consider student safety first. Decisions regarding fog delays will always be made in the morning.
- The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature-sensitive and occurs quickly. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain/sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision will generally be made in the morning.
- Snowfall is more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2-inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because of the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.
- Roads will be driven by Corporation Officials around 4:00 am to determine the safety and drivability for school buses.
Extreme Snowfall Situations
- When snow has accumulated to a significant level, or is at such a level with more snowfall predicted, then the decision regarding school may be made the previous evening. A significant level is one in which local authorities have indicated it is unlikely roads will be passable by the following morning. This is an unlikely, but possible occurrence.
- Travel warnings and advisories will all be considered.
- Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. The CSCSHC uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below (the starting point for wind chill concerns with calm wind) at 7:00 a.m. the school will consider a two-hour delay for the start of school. If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 degrees or below at 9:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, perhaps the evening before, but certainly by 6:00 a.m. in the morning.
Extreme Wind Chill
- Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions are based upon the open conditions of the Indianapolis Airport, these conditions are often different throughout Hancock County. Local observations of wind speed will affect the decision regarding delaying or closing school. Wind chill concerns emerge at a predicted wind chill temperature of -19 degrees. If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be -19 degrees or below and local wind conditions are predicted to mirror the airport wind conditions at 7:00 a.m., the school will consider a two-hour delay for the start of school. If the wind chill is predicted to remain at -19 degrees or below and local conditions mirror the airport wind conditions at 9:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be made in the morning.
- NOAA - Wind Chill Chart
- Utility issues (gas, electricity, water) may cause a school to close. Issues associated with cold, including water supply to a building and electricity to a building or neighborhood, may cause school to be canceled.