School Delays and Closure Procedures

November, 2018

 

 

Dear Parents,

 

You may be aware that this year's school calendar was designed to allow for construction to begin at the high school as soon as school is out on May 31st.  Consequently, if weather conditions were to force the cancellation of a school day this winter, we would not be able to add a make-up day(s) to the end of the year (the construction project, as well as attendance requirements for seniors who will be graduating on June 1st, make it impossible to make up school days in June).  Therefore, possibilities for make-up days are limited to Saturdays and Spring Break, neither of which are particularly attractive options.

 

The safety and well-being of the students is paramount.  However, it is also the District's intent to adhere to the established school calendar whenever possible.  We recognize that canceling or delaying school because of adverse weather conditions causes a good deal of inconvenience for parents.  Because parents often do not have "back-up" plans in place, many students may be forced to stay home alone on days when school is canceled.  History also tells us that student attendance on make-up days is generally worse than on regularly scheduled school days, no matter how poor the conditions may be.

 

These factors are considered in relation to the risk-level involved in having students and staff on the roads when weather conditions are questionable.  When adverse weather strikes, we have, on a few occasions in recent years, employed a delayed start to school; an option that has certainly been an effective one for us.  In fact, in the last 3 years we have on only one occasion actually canceled an entire school day and then made it up later.

 

This winter, in order to avoid a cancellation of school and the problems associated with make-up days noted earlier in this letter, it has been decided that, if at all possible, we will go ahead with school on each of the scheduled days.  It is possible in some instances that we will not be running buses on the country routes (however we may run buses in the city if feasible).  If this scenario were to transpire, the parents of students who normally ride the bus will be responsible for making the decision to bring their children to school or keep them home for the day.  If parents decide to keep their children home for the day, the absence would be recorded as "excused--school related".  This solution enables us to adhere to the school calendar as already established and avoid the problems and inconvenience associated with attempting to schedule a make-up day. If necessary we may still delay school on a morning where we believe it is in the best safety interest of our students and staff. Late start days due to unsafe conditions do not require us to make up the lost instructional time.

 

We recognize that this approach may not be perfect; however, in considering all factors and options available to us this year, we believe this is the best way to go.  With a little bit of luck this winter we may never find ourselves in a position to continue with school and not run bus routes.  But in the event that we do, we wanted you to be aware of our thinking in this regard. 

 

If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me (397-3042). 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jerry Pugh

Superintendent

 

 

                 WINTER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
                 Be Prepared for Schedule Changes!

 

From time to time during the coming months, the weather may force a change in the normal school routine. The fol-lowing questions and answers should help to clarify how decisions regarding school closure and delay are made and communicated in the Colfax School District.

 

How are decisions made?
It is the District's intent to adhere to the established school calendar whenever possible. We recognize that canceling or delaying school because of adverse weather conditions causes a good deal of inconvenience for parents. History also tells us that student attendance on make-up days is generally worse than on regularly scheduled school days, no matter how poor the conditions may be.

 

These factors are considered in relation to the risk-level involved in transporting students when weather conditions are questionable. A delayed start to the school day will often provide time for weather to improve and roads to be plowed. In the light of day, our drivers will also be working in safer driving conditions.

 

If the weather becomes particularly difficult, it is possible, in some instances, that we will not be running buses, running buses on main roads only or running buses on emergency routes only. If this scenario were to emerge, the parents of students who normally ride the bus will be responsible for making the decision to bring their children to school or keep them home for the day. If parents decide to keep their children home for the day, the absence would be recorded as "excused--school related".

 

How is information gathered to make decisions on bad weather days?
Early in the morning, designated school personnel communicate with one another and individuals in key locations to determine the status of roads and existing weather patterns. Information secured from these individuals is then used to make decisions regarding the feasibility of safely transporting students to and from school.

 

Where can one get information concerning school delay or closure?
Whenever possible, decisions regarding school closure or delay are made by 6:00 a.m. At that time, a phone message will be sent out via School Messenger, the school’s messaging system. You can also check our website for updated information, as well as tuning in to one of the following stations between 6:00 and 7:30 each morning:

 

                    Television:       KREM TV CH 2                KXLY TV CH 4                KHQ TV CH 6
                    AM Radio:       KCLX 1450                       KRPL 1400                     KQQQ 1150
                    FM Radio:       KZFN 106                         KZZL 99.5                       KHTR 104.3

 

If weather deteriorates during the course of the school day and school needs to be dismissed early, parents can expect to receive a phone call, as well as email. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL HAS A CURRENT PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS FOR YOU. The information will also be communicated to the above listed radio stations.

 

What can parents do to be prepared for school closure or delay?
Make sure your child’s school has the most up-to-date contact information for you. Have an emergency snow day plan in place that can be put into action on short notice. Make arrangements for a friend, neighbor, or family member to take care of young children if you are expected to be at work on a day when school has been canceled or delayed.
                                                                                                                             November, 2018
                                                                                   

                       Emergency Routes Defined

 

No buses will run on roads or highways that have been closed by city, county or state road
departments. In addition, no buses will run on the west hill in Colfax, which includes Deanway, Cromwell, Moller Road and Cherry Street.

 

Bus #7: Bus will not run on Green Hollow Road or Morley Road; all other stops re-main as usual.
Bus #8: No change.
Bus #9: Bus will not run on gravel roads.
Bus#12: Bus will pick up at McGregor Company and in Diamond.
Bus #16: If highway 272 is open, bus will pick up at intersection of Clear Creek Road and highway 272. Bus will pick up in city limits as usual.
Bus #17: Bus will not run on west hill in Colfax. For Hilty Road stops, bus will pick up at highway 272.
Bus #18: Bus will not run on gravel roads. Pick up is in Steptoe.
Bus #19: Bus will not run on gravel roads. If Almota Road is open, pick up is at Onecho Church.
Bus #20: Bus stops on Penawawa Road, Sommers Road and Brink Road—bus will pick up at intersection of the road and Highway 26. Filan Road, Airport Road and Duncan Springs Road—bus will pick up at highway 26 and Air-port Road intersection.
Bus #21: If Almota Road is open, bus will pick up all stops after Onecho Church at the church.
Special Ed: Bus will not run on west hill in Colfax.

 

If weather conditions do not improve during the day or conditions deteriorate, emergency routes will be in effect for afternoon drop-off as well.