Weather Related Closings & Procedures
In the event of an unscheduled school closing, delay or early/late dismissal it is our goal to notify the community in an efficient and timely manner. We know our decision to close schools in poor weather has a big effect on families. We also believe students benefit both academically and socially by being in school. We will balance these factors with factors of student safety when it comes to decisions regarding school closing. Please take a few minutes to review the school closing procedures listed below.
How is the public notified?
- CPU’s official Facebook and/or Twitter pages: @CPUSchools
- Email and Text notifications from Center Point-Urbana CSD via Infinite Campus Messenger.
- Media Outlets for Weather Notices: KCRG, KGAN, & KWWL
What are the different types of weather closings?
All schools are closed for the day. Only District Office, weather permitting, will be open on school closing days. When schools are closed for the day, all elementary and middle school activities/events are canceled unless otherwise noted. High School coaches/directors will work with the Activities Office to determine whether or not high school activities/events are canceled or allowed. Specific announcements will be made if activities scheduled can be held because of improved weather conditions.
Two-Hour Delay to Start of School Day
Two-hour delay start will be used for days when daylight and additional time is needed to allow for safe passage for students to schools. In the event of a two-hour school day delay, the school day will begin exactly two hours later than the regular school opening for each school. All buses will pick up students exactly two hours later than the regular pickup time, drop off time will not change. There will be no AM Pre-School/Kindergarten Prep on days that have a two-hour start delay. P.M. Pre-School will start at the normal time. If school is delayed, there will be no before-school practices.
Two-Hour Delay to Start of School on Late Start Wednesdays
If the district activates a two-hour delayed start on a Late Start Wednesday, the two-hour delay on Wednesday is the same as it is Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday which is to say that our “regular non-weather related” Late Start PD Wednesday factors into a weather related delay on Wednesday.
If the weather changes to adverse conditions, the district may decide to release students early. Parents are urged to develop a plan for situations when their student may be released early. Parents will be notified by Infinite Campus messenger and local media outlets will be notified. When the school system experiences an early dismissal all elementary and middle school activities/events are canceled unless otherwise noted. High School coaches/directors will work with the Activities Office to determine whether or not high school activities/events are canceled or allowed.
Hard Services Only Route Plan
The Center Point-Urbana CSD has developed an emergency Hard Surfaces Only Route Plan. The purpose of this plan is to provide a bus transportation system on days when it is not possible to run the buses on gravel roads. In situations such as drifted or icy country gravel roads, or soft surface gravel roads, this plan will be implemented. When the plan is utilized in the morning, it will also be utilized in the afternoon. Please visit our Transportation Department page for information on specific bus routes impacted by the hard service plan.
How do we make our decision?
Our decision to open or close the schools in poor weather is based on an analysis of factors such as:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff, highway patrol and county roads departments. We consider all of the roads in the district. Even if your street or road looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. Additionally, we factor in the safety of high school students that may be driving to school.
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated, predicted duration of any precipitation, and temperature and wind chill. We recognize some students walk to school and some wait outside for the bus.
- Building and parking lot conditions. We confirm that we have heat, electricity, and water, and confer with maintenance staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
- What other school districts are doing. We share information among schools as part of the decision making process.
- Weather predictions. We consider weather predictions, and often consult with area meteorologists.
- For cold and frigid temperatures, we try our best to make a decision the evening before. If the National Weather Service forecast for 6 a.m. calls for a wind chill of minus 25 or worse, classes and activities may be canceled.
Who makes the decision?
As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from both the Assistant Superintendent and the Director of Transportation.
When is the decision made?
As safety is always a priority while balancing what is best for our district, generally a decision is made by 6:30 am in order to contact administrators as well as notify all CPU families and radio and TV stations. This means that information on school closings or delays generally should be available between 6:30 and 6:45 am.
Will we close school if conditions worsen?
Once we make the decision to open the schools, many parents rely on it and may already have left for work. Once in school, we will typically keep students through the day. In extreme conditions, we may need to have an early dismissal, but we will provide notice as indicated above.
When School Resumes after a storm?
After a major snow storm, some changes in regular routines may be needed. Depending on the severity of the storm, ongoing snow removal efforts may dictate that parents should take additional measures to ensure safe transportation of their students to and from school.
Although we do our absolute best in this process, we know that no perfect decision exists for all involved. If you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment.
Students missing school for weather related reasons will be counted as an excused absent, but will be allowed to make up school assignments. We would also appreciate your encouragement with teenage drivers to utilize the existing bus service or another alternative to driving in poor conditions.
Matt Berninghaus, Superintendent