SmallTownNews
Superintendent reviews emergency closure procedures

By Jane Ward

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

Aberdeen School District reminds parents and students of the procedures followed for emergency closures of the schools. The Aberdeen School District will remain open, if at all possible, on all scheduled school days. Even when weather conditions are extreme, every effort will be made to keep schools open. However, if the school district should decide to close due to weather, there will be no extra-curricular events sponsored that evening.

It is Aberdeen School District's belief that keeping students in school is in the best interest of the students. Since parents are the primary protectors, they will need to decide what is right for their child. The option to keep a child home when weather conditions are extreme is always up to the parents' discretion and the school understands and respects the decision. The school district takes into consideration three basic weather conditions before closing schools due to weather.

1. The most common situation is strong winds and heavy snow during the night. These conditions may close roads and make bus transportation impossible. In this event, school closure will be announced by the local media as soon as the school district gets an official report on road conditions. The district will make every effort to get word to the media by 6 a.m.

2. Extremely cold weather sometimes accompanied by wind results in a very low "wind chill" factor. If the temperature should fall to near -20F, school will not be in session. Under these conditions, the closure will be announced as soon as possible to the local media.

3. One of the most difficult decisions to make is closing school early and returning students home before they are expected. When the weather changes and blizzard, extreme cold, or unsafe conditions exist after school has started, the school district may release students to go home early. The school district communicates very closely with the county road crews in coordinating road conditions with bus routes. The county gives the district information on which roads might be closed due to drifting snow. The school district understands that although some parents may be home, many are not. Closing schools and returning students home earlier than usual could lead to situations that are not safe for the child, such as being locked out of the home or being in a house alone. Please discuss with your child an alternate place to go if a sudden school closure should occur. It would also be a good idea to contact your child's teacher with a name of someone that would be available to take your child in such an emergency. The older students should have a way to get into the house without the parent available. Elementary teachers will attempt to call home before students are released on the bus. Parents should check with teachers to insure the phone numbers the teachers have to contact the parent are correct.

If at all possible, school will remain in session as normally scheduled. In case of an emergency school closure, notice of the closure will be given to the local media as soon as possible. Please monitor one of the following stations for announcements concerning school closure. TV - KIDK, Channel 3, KPVI, Channel 6, KIFI, Channel 8, Radio - KLCE, 97.3, KSEI, 930 FM, KISU 91.1, KFTZ 103 ( Z103), or KZBQ, 93.7.

Again, please remember to take proper precautions especially during the winter months. For your child's health and safety, be prepared for bad weather and school closures. This would include having proper winter clothing such as a warm coat, hat, gloves, boots and socks. Outerwear should be waterproof. Make in advance arrangements with neighbors, babysitters, or daycare for your child's care in the event the school bus is late or your child arrives home sooner than usual because of early school dismissal. Tell your child in advance what to do in such circumstances and leave instructions with the child's school and teacher.

Please do not bring children to the school buildings and drop them off before 8 a.m. Faculty and staff are not on duty until 8 a.m. If there is a school district closure there would be no adult at the school to help your child. District-wide weather-related closures will automatically cancel district activities for that particular day. This applies to all groups scheduled to use school facilities on that day.

Safety is the greatest concern of both the school district and the parents. By preparing ahead of time your child's safety will be optimized.



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