Dear WCPS Community,
As the seasons begin to change, colder weather is upon us, which means that it is time to review our Inclement Weather Plan. As with any decision made, student safety has been and will continue to be my top priority. I believe that by being proactive and having a strong plan in place, we can ensure student safety and approach the winter season and colder temperatures with confidence. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our procedures and communication options so that when the time comes, you too are prepared.
“SNOW ALERT” Inclement Weather Plan
To Close or Not to Close ----- That is the Question
Any Superintendent or Transportation Director will tell you that one of his/her most difficult decisions is whether to close, delay, or open school on days of inclement weather. It is a difficult decision because it is based upon the probability of safely transporting our students. The process begins at 4:00 a.m. with several district personnel and weather spotters strategically located throughout the county traveling the roads to check on conditions. During this time, district officials are in consistent contact with Bowling Green officials, law enforcement agencies and News Channel 13 (WBKO) for the latest update on the weather. We strive to make our decision no later than 5:30 a.m. in order to inform our district parents, students, and employees in a timely manner.
Because this decision is made rather early, there may be a need to make a revision later in the morning due to rapidly changing weather conditions. It is important for parents to continue checking television and radio stations after the initial announcement, in the event weather conditions dictate a change. Although we realize these decisions are subject to second-guessing, I ask that you remember all decisions are based solely upon the safety of our children, and we will always err on the side of caution.
WHAT FACTORS GO INTO MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE/DELAY/EARLY DISMISS SCHOOL?
- Weather forecasts from radio and television stations (Time snow/ice or freezing rain is expected to start and end)
- Predicted amount of snow/ice or freezing rain accumulation
- Weather conditions expected after the snow/ice or freezing rain.
- School officials, Kentucky Deptartment of Transportation, and various law enforcement assessments of conditions
- School district's assessment of school parking and accessibility of buildings
- Anticipated impact on traffic
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WEATHER BECOMES SEVERE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
Every effort is made to keep students in school through regular dismissal; however, it may become necessary to dismiss students earlier than normal to ensure their safe transport. School officials monitor weather conditions throughout the day in consultation with local weather officials, the Kentucky Deptartment of Transportation, and various law enforcement officials.
HOW CAN PARENTS BE READY?
Parents should always be prepared for an early dismissal by having an identified procedure for their child to follow in these situations. We request parents not drive to school to pick up children who normally ride the school bus in the afternoon. This additional traffic created at school may complicate an early dismissal by increasing traffic both at the school and on the local roads. In addition, it may hamper communication efforts by school employees who are working quickly to ensure each child has a safe transport home.
EMERGENCY CLOSING/DELAY INFORMATION SOURCES:
- WBKO-TV (13) WTVF-TV (5) WKRN-TV (2)
- WBVR-RADIO WCLU-RADIO WCVK-RADIO
- WGGC-RADIO WKCT-RADIO WKLX-RADIO
- WKYU-RADIO WPTQ-RADIO WSM-RADIO
- WCPS Alert Now Messaging System
We ask that parents and students do not telephone the schools or the district office for information pertaining to the operation of schools on days of inclement weather. Due to limited staffing in our offices, these calls may delay our ability to notify school staff and the public of important information in a timely manner. The announcement of school closing and/or delay is made on most of the local television and radio stations as soon as possible. I trust this communication provides you with relevant information and allows you to better understand our process to ensure your child’s safety during inclement weather. Please share you questions with our school principals or feel free to contact the Warren County Schools Transportation Department at (270) 842-8311. Thank you for entrusting us to ensure the safety of your child each day. Take Care!
Superintendent, Warren County Schools