The best way to make a decision regarding school delays or cancellation is to wait until 5 a.m. that morning and evaluate the situation as it stands with much more accurate information. Our overarching school family prefers for us to make decisions the night before an event based on a forecast, not actual conditions. When the forecast is wrong, we are wrong – and no one remembers the forecast, just our decision. It is a tough balance between early notification and accurate information. We are all products of high expectations and instant notification.
Perry Township Schools’ approach to inclement weather and school delay/closing decisions:
• Parents care deeply about their children.
• If school is open, or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision whether to send their child to school. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination.
• Parents are committed to keeping children safe and dress their children appropriately for the weather when sending them to school.
• We believe parents have plans in place for weather related delays and closures.
When weather advisories are posted and inclement weather is eminent, Transportation, Maintenance and Central Office administration begin monitoring local weather conditions. Beginning at 4:00 a.m., roads are driven and conditions are reviewed by from these three areas. A final decision on school delay and cancellation is made by approximately 5:00 a.m. If there is a delay or cancellation of school, notification is sent to parents and staff via phone messages, email, social media, the district website and local media.
Delaying or closing school is based on multiple variables:
• Freezing rain and sleet is unpredictable. When freezing rain/sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. We make this decision in the morning.
• Snowfall is much more predictable. Typically, there is a 2 inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall can vary. The decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. We make this decision in the morning.
Extreme Snowfall Situations
• Significant snowfall that has accumulated, making it unlikely that streets will be passable by the following morning, at times enables the decision to attend school to be made the previous evening.
• Temperature forecasting has become increasingly accurate. We monitor temperature predictions for Perry Township from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below at 5:00 a.m., the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. A determination will be made as early as possible.
Extreme Wind Chill
• Wind chill prediction is not as accurate. Concerns emerge at a predicted wind chill temperature of -10 degrees. Typically this decision is made in the morning unless the predictions are extreme.
We welcome the lengthening of each sunny day as we grow nearer to spring and more temperate weather!