Weather Related Schedule Changes
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. I know the decision to close schools in poor weather has a big effect on families. I also believe that students benefit from being at school. I’ll balance these factors along with considerations for student safety when making the decisions regarding school closings or delays.
How will the public be notified?
Notifications will be posted on the homepage of our website (www.wcv.k12.ia.us), notifications will be sent through JMC’s messaging service. Families will receive communication in the form of a phone call, email and text messages. We ask that parents/guardians update their information in JMC in your contact preferences. You can access JMC Parent Online from the school website by scrolling to the quicklinks on the lower right section of the home page. If you have never logged in to the JMC Site or need help with your username or password, please contact Jennifer at the district office for assistance (515) 523-2187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Outlets for Weather Notices
Television Stations: WHO-TV Channel 13 KCCI Channel 8 WOI Channel 5 KDSM FOX 17
Radio Stations: 107.9 FM 1040 AM 100.3 FM 107.5 FM 106.3 FM 1460 AM 96.5 FM
Social Media: Facebook - District Page Twitter - @WCVSupt
What are the different types of weather closings?
School Closing - All schools are closed for the day. Only district central office will be open on school closing days. When schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in the school building for that calendar day are canceled unless otherwise noted. Specific announcements will be made if special 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.
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.
Who makes the decision?
As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from other district personnel.
When is the decision made?
I must make the decision by 5:15 AM in order to contact administrators, post the decision on our website and notify radio and TV stations. This means that information on school closings or delays should be available between 5:30 and 5:45 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.
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 absence 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.
Lance Ridgely, Superintendent