As is often the case here in Ohio, it seems we have gone from summer temperatures to winter temperatures with little transition in between.
I would encourage our families to have a plan in place if we must delay or cancel school because of weather during the winter months.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding school delays and closures that might be necessitated by inclement weather:
Question: How many calamity days are districts allowed this year?
Answer: When the State of Ohio switched to required school hours instead of required school days, they also dispensed with calamity day allotments for Ohio schools. However, the Dublin Board of Education approved calendar states if the district misses more than six days of school, make up days will take place beginning May 28
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 might 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, district officials will use a variety of tools to communicate the decision with parents. The information will appear on the district's website, as well as on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
For the absolute fastest weather delay or cancellation notification, follow me on Twitter @toddhoadley. We will also call parents using the district's parent notification system.
Cancellations and delays will also be mass emailed, texted to those who have opted for a text option, and broadcast on local television and radio stations.
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 district, not just city of Dublin streets. More than 40 percent of our more than 16,250 students do not live in the city of Dublin.
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, therefore, adverse driving conditions may be present in one part of the district, while roads are just fine in other parts.
The timing of a storm might 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.
Please note, if Dublin schools are closed because of weather, private school bus routes will also be canceled that day.
Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph. D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.