From the Superintendent's Desk
By Superintendent Leonard P. Lueck
School Decisions Related to Inclement Weather
By Lenny Lueck, District Administrator
As we enter the holiday season, the winter weather season also kicks into full speed. It is important that families prepare for inclement weather situations. From a School perspective, there are two scenarios that involve decisions related to inclement weather. The first is when students are in school. The second is when school needs to be started late, closed early, or cancelled altogether. The School District of Brodhead realizes the seriousness of these decisions and the ramifications they have on students, parents and staff. These decisions involve a lot of consideration and communication.
The first scenario is when students are in school. It is important for parents to remember to dress their student appropriately for winter weather conditions. Students should have heavy clothing, winter jackets, hats, gloves, boots, and other outdoor winter clothing parents feel necessary. Younger students that have recess time should have snow pants/outfits as well. Student recess time will be outside unless the weather prohibits such activity. The Principals will make a decision as far as outdoor recess is concerned. When deciding to go outside or not, factors such as temperature and wind chill will be taken into consideration. As a general rule, if the temperature (including wind chill) is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the noon recess, we will be going outside. Morning and afternoon recess will be up to the discretion of the teachers, but the general rule of 0 degrees Fahrenheit will be used as well. Because it is a shorter amount of time outside for the students, any temperature above -10 degrees Fahrenheit would be safe for the kids.
The second scenario is when schools have to start late, release early, or be cancelled because of inclement winter weather. There are a number of factors and people involved with this decision. The two main items considered are road conditions and temperatures. As mentioned earlier, there are a number of people involved with this decision. When considering these decisions, the Superintendent communicates with the Transportation Company, other area schools, local/county Law Enforcement agencies, local/county Highway Departments as well as the weather stations. As far as snow or ice on the roads, there is no exact amount. After driving the roads, the Superintendent communicates with the previously mentioned people, and a decision is based on this information. As far as temperatures, the National Weather Chart is used as a guide. Although not concrete numbers, typically, minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures or minus 35 wind chill would be the decision point.
Weather predictions also play a role in the decision to close schools. If the weather looks like it may improve, then the decisions to delay the start of school or keep students in school may be wiser. If the predictions show that it may get worse, then early release or closing school may be necessary. No matter what the weather scenario is, safety is always a key factor. Information on school closings can be found on the local television and radio stations. Brodhead Schools also use an instant message system to notify parents of these situations as soon as decisions are made. This system sends out a text message, voice message and email notification. It is important that parents check the message before calling the schools. There is a high volume of calls during these times so checking the message before calling saves a lot of time for both the parent as well as the schools. Hopefully everyone has a safe and happy holiday/winter season.