Weather Delayed Openings & Early Closings
During inclement weather, school delays, closings and cancellations are communicated through localmedia outlets and by BCS social media. There are numerous ways to be informed regarding the status of Berkeley County Schools. TAKE ACTION. GET CONNECTED. STAY INFORMED with Berkeley County Schools, is a publication listing all media sources who should report the status of Berkeley County Schools. Please take a moment to review your options. Do not call your child’s school or the Board of Education Office as these lines must be kept free for emergency communications and for administrative use.
As we begin to experience early dismissals, delays and closings, please monitor more than one media source for the status of Berkeley County Schools. No one source is foolproof. Most media sources post weather‐related information on their websites.
It is most important that every family have a contingency plan for children in case of early closings or delayed openings if no one is home at the time the student leaves or returns from school. When school has been delayed, students should not arrive at the school earlier than the announced opening time since school staff may also be arriving late. When school is dismissed early, it is the parent's responsibility to inform children where they should go upon dismissal.
Remember to dress your children appropriately for winter weather, especially when walking to school or waiting on the school bus. A winter coat and hat are essential as well as warm boots and gloves. Always advise children to wait a safe distance from the road for the bus and when walking to school to pay extra attention to their footing.
We hope this information assists you in preparing and planning for the winter weather season. To understand the decision to delay or cancel school, visit the BCS website, www.berkeleycountyschools.org, and read the Inclement Weather Decision Process.
Inclement Weather Decision Process
Closing or delaying school is a serious decision requiring careful consideration of several factors. While our focus is the safety of our students and employees, we also evaluate the impact a closure or delay can have on student instructional time. Realizing a change in a school schedule creates inconveniences and difficulties for many BCS families, it is our goal and commitment that we make the best and most informed decision as quickly as possible and communicate that information to our BCS family. Many factors and resources are evaluated and consulted in making these decisions in a timely manner. Our decision process for a closure or delay is:
Members of the transportation department, senior staff members and the Superintendent, monitor developing weather reports and receive regular updates from multiple weather sources as well as local and state radar. We communicate with neighboring school districts. Throughout the night, roads are driven to assess accumulation and condition. Sidewalks and parking lots are examined. Contact is made with county and state highway officials to discuss their plans to plow and treat road surfaces. This process begins no later than 4 am, unless the decision to close can be made the night before.
After reviewing weather reports and shared information, the Superintendent makes the determination if roads, parking lots and sidewalks can be plowed and treated in time to safely open schools and transport students, or if a delay will be necessary. Two hour delays are necessary when additional time is needed to evaluate changing weather conditions and forecasts.
Once the Superintendent makes the decision, the Communications Department is notified. Staff members begin the process of informing parents and employees by using numerous media sources, social media and websites. It is our goal to communicate this information by 5:30 am.
It is important to understand that the decision isn’t always ideal for every area of our large county. Often weather and road conditions vary from one end of the county to another, and often conditions change quickly. You should know that careful, deliberate consideration was given to making the best decision for the majority of our student population and employees. Most importantly, the decision is made with student and employee safety as the top priority.