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Thursday, 3/30/2017
Home : INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

Snow Days & School Closures... How They are Decided at CLPS

Good afternoon CLPS families,

Recognizing that our decision to close schools in inclement weather has a large effect on CLPS families, we thought it would be helpful to share the factors that go into a weather-related school closing. Our goal is to always have school, whenever possible, knowing that students are best served by being in class. However, when Mother Nature throws a curve ball, we must keep staff and student safety our top priority when making this decision.

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?

Several factors go into making a "snow day" call, including:

  • Information on road conditions from our transportation and maintenance crews
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated
  • Duration and timing of the snow and/or ice event
  • School building conditions (electricity, heat, water)
  • School parking lot and sidewalk conditions – can they be cleared in time?
  • Temperature and wind chill (for safety of walkers and students at bus stops)
  • Weather predictions are considered, along with these other factors, but closures are not solelybased on predictions.
  • Consulting with other nearby school districts

WHO MAKES THE DECISION?

The superintendent makes the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from our Transportation and Maintenance Departments.

HOW ARE PARENTS NOTIFIED?

We spread the word in several ways, as soon as the determination is made by the superintendent:

  • All local radio and TV news stations are notified first (check here FIRST if you think school might be canceled)
  • Phone call via the automated notification system (the first/primary phone number on student contact information form is used. This is typically your home phone number if you have a home phone number.  If you would rather emergency calls go to a cell, please contact your child's school.  If you only have a cell phone number, then it will go to the primary contact's cell)
  • Email via the automated notification system (the first email address listed, for the primary contact, is used for district communications)
  • District website (clps.org) posting
  • District Twitter page posting (coming soon; expected in the 2014-2015 school year)
  • Cable TV posting (Channel 15 and 20 on WOW and Comcast depending on your provider and city)
  • PLEASE NOTE the Order of Operations:  Local TV stations are contacted first.  Next, the automated calling system is programmed and takes approximately 15-30 minutes to "queue up" and another 15-30 to send the notifications.  It could take up to 60 minutes for an automated call to reach a parent.  E-mail is delivered almost immediately after the notification has been setup.  Cable TV channel slides and the website are last in the update process. Many of these automated systems use quick-fill templates, however, dates must still be changed on the templates and new voice messages recorded.  These tasks are typically performed the night before a possible closure, but not always possible if the weather throws us an early morning surprise.

To ensure parents receive phone and email notification, parents should contact their child's school to update contact information, if needed, in the event they have not been receiving calls and/or e-mails.  Remember only the one primary designed number or e-mail will receive the automated calls and e-mail per student, so it is important to make sure the correct information has been provided to your school.  We can only contact the number and e-mail we have been given as primary. For fastest notification we recommend tuning to local TV on days with inclement weather and keeping an e-mail address on file with your child's school in order to receive the school closing information in a timely manner.

WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?

Sometimes (in an ideal world), closures are determined the evening prior, while most times they're determined during the early morning hours. The calls and emails go out as soon as possible, to give families proper planning time. We do not place phone calls earlier than 5 a.m.  Unfortunately, it can take up to 60 minutes for an automated call to completely send to the 3000+ students and staff of the CLPS district, so every effort is made to initiate the notification as soon as the determination of closure is made.  Once again, for fastest notification we recommend tuning to local TV on days with inclement weather and keeping an e-mail address on file with your child's school in order to receive the school closing information in a timely manner.

ARE THERE SNOW DAYS BUILT INTO THE CALENDAR?

The district does not build snow days into the calendar, but the State of Michigan allows up to six days for emergency closings. We are monitoring the Legislature, to see if any allowances will be made for this record-setting winter.

PARENT DECISION

As a reminder, although the district does its best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision exists. If you feel as though it is not safe for your child to attend school, please know that you always have the option of keeping your child at home.

We hope you find this information helpful. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this particularly harsh winter season.

Take care, and stay safe!

-Center Line Public Schools