Dublin Villager

From the Superintendent's Desk

FAQs on winter weather school delays, closings

Winter weather season is upon us. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding school delays and closures that may be necessitated by inclement weather. Please take a moment to read the information. If you have any additional questions about our procedures, please call 764-5913 or email: info@dublinschools.net.

Question: How many calamity days are districts allowed this year?

Answer: The State of Ohio sets the number of calamity days for Ohio school districts. This year we have been allotted FIVE (5) calamity days.

When is the decision to delay or cancel school made?

As early as possible. Usually, the decision to delay or cancel school will be made no later than 6:30 a.m. In some cases, the decision may be made the night before, if weather conditions warrant. We cannot make decisions to delay or cancel school based upon a forecast alone.

Where should parents check to see if school is canceled or delayed?

As soon as a decision is made, the information will appear almost immediately on the district's web site, www.dublinschools.net.

Cancellations and delays will also be mass emailed to subscribers. To subscribe, please visit the district's web site. Local television and radio stations will broadcast any school delays and cancellations.

We will also call parents using the district's parent notification system.

Please note however, you may see the information online or via the media before your phone call arrives. We will also be "tweeting" delays and cancellations via the district's Twitter account.

What factors are taken into consideration when making the decision to delay or cancel school?

Student safety is the ultimate factor in determining whether school needs to be delayed or canceled.

Traction for our buses and for motorists driving in the vicinity of our buses is a prime concern.

Visibility for our bus drivers is essential, and wind-chill factors are also considered.

We do not want students waiting at bus stops if dangerous wind-chill conditions exist.

District personnel monitor local radar information and weather service information to determine if a storm will necessitate a delay of school or a cancellation.

We must also take into consideration the conditions of ALL streets and roads in the school district, not just city of Dublin streets.

More than 5,000 of our students do not live in the city of Dublin. City of Dublin streets are often in better condition than rural roads or city of Columbus streets following a snowstorm.

There are about 1,400 streets and roads in the district. Due to the size of the district, it is possible we will have adverse driving conditions in one part of the district, while roads are just fine in other parts.

The timing of a storm may also be an issue. If snow is falling when buses are set to begin their routes, we may need a delay for road crews to get on top of the situation, or our own plow teams to open a path to the schools before it is safe to proceed with classes.

Is it possible school could be delayed due to weather?

Yes. The district may implement a two-hour delay depending upon weather conditions. The district will NOT use one-hour delays.

It is important for parents to know that if a two-hour delay is announced, they need to continue to check the media and web site for updated information.

In scenarios where power does not get restored, a fog does not lift, or road conditions do not improve, two-hour delays may turn into closures.

In the event of a two-hour delay, please stay tuned to your local media and the district's web site as the delay may evolve into a closure.

If the start of a school day must be delayed, how will the day run?

Any delay of the start of school because of inclement weather will be a two-hour delay.

Whenever there is a two-hour delay due to inclement weather, the district's bus and start time schedule is pushed back two hours from normal times.

In the event of a two-hour delay:

* AM kindergarten and AM preschool will be canceled.

* The one-hour ELI program will be canceled.

* The Extended ELI program will follow the elementary two-hour delay schedule.

* PM kindergarten and PM preschool bus routes will run at their normal times.

* PM kindergarten students will attend class at the normal time, from 1:10 p.m. until 3:40 p.m.

* PM preschool students will attend class at the normal time, from 12:45 p.m. until 3:15 p.m.

* AM Latchkey will NOT be offered if a two hour delay is necessary.

If school is delayed, what happens to scheduled extracurricular activities?

Extracurricular activities will proceed as scheduled if the district must use a two-hour delay due to weather, but please stay tuned to the district's web site and local media for possible changes depending upon the opponent district's situation.

If school is canceled, what happens to scheduled extracurricular activities?

If school is canceled because of inclement weather, there will be no practices or games at the middle school or freshman levels.

No varsity practices will take place until after noon, contingent upon weather conditions and the forecast for the remainder of the day.

Varsity coaches and athletic directors are responsible for the decision regarding practices.

Decisions about varsity and junior varsity games on calamity days will be made in collaboration with the athletic directors and principals of the schools involved.

Saturday school and Saturday extracurricular events also have the potential to be impacted by the weather.

If we must cancel Saturday events, this information will be announced on the district's web site and through the local media.

Dublin City School District Superintendent David Axner submitted the Superintendent's Desk column to the ThisWeek Dublin Villager.