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How is the Decision Made? What are the Contributing Factors?

HOW IS THE DECISION MADE?  WHAT ARE THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS?

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.  Weather and road conditions may 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 safety of our student population and employees. Most importantly, the decision is made with student and employee safety as the top priority.

(This information is shared with our school community each November.)