SCHOOL MATTERS - Closing school for weather a tough decision

How do you make the decision to close school? As superintendent, making the decision to close school during inclement weather is often very difficult. A variety of factors are taken into consideration before a decision is made. When school is closed, many families are affected adversely and need to make alternative arrangements for child care. The safety of our students, however, is always the top priority in our decision whether or not to open or close our schools.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

How do you make the decision to close school?

As superintendent, making the decision to close school during inclement weather is often very difficult. A variety of factors are taken into consideration before a decision is made. When school is closed, many families are affected adversely and need to make alternative arrangements for child care. The safety of our students, however, is always the top priority in our decision whether or not to open or close our schools.

When a decision is made to close or to delay the opening of school, please tune into our local radio and television stations. Radio station WLKR, 95.3 FM is always the first station notified when there is a delay or closing. In Norwalk, we try to make our decision before 6 a.m. We need to do this because our first bus leaves the bus garage at 6:15 a.m. In order for us to make our decision before 6 a.m., we begin checking road conditions by driving roads in different areas of the district, beginning at 4:45 a.m. Besides myself, assistant superintendent Mike Gordon and director of support services Dustin Brown check the condition of the roads in the various areas of our school district. In addition to checking the condition of the roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, we are also checking the latest weather predictions. We prefer to not make our decision based on the weather predictions, but sometimes this is unavoidable. There also may be times when we delay the opening of school for two hours. When a delay is called, please continue to monitor the local media in case school is eventually closed.

We try to make the correct decision when we are checking roads in the morning. If you as a parent, however, do not feel that it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment on whether he or she should attend. We hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process that we use to make the best possible decision for the students in our district.