School Closings Due to Inclement Weather

HOW IS THE DECISION MADE? – The decision to open or close the schools in bad weather is based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:

  • Information on road conditions from news outlets and from the police. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous roads in the school’s area. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the area may be dangerous. Also, consideration is given to the fact that some students/families walk to school.
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
  • Whether precipitation is continuing.
  • Building conditions (such as whether schools have electricity and heat).
  • Parking lot conditions. Administrators discuss the conditions of the schools’ parking lots and sidewalks with the maintenance and custodial staff members to determine if the sites are safe.
  • Temperature and wind chill. Please remember that some of our students walk to school and some must wait outside for the bus.
  • Weather predictions. The administration prefers not making a decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate, however, sometimes this is necessary.

WHO MAKES THE DECISION? – Generally, we follow the Maplewood-South Orange School District decisions. If they close the district schools, we will also usually close. The decision is typically made prior to 5:30 a.m.

HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED? – Parents/Guardians and staff members will receive announcements from the Honeywell Instant Alert System, with regard to emergency school closings resulting from stormy or inclement weather or any other emergency.

Parents, staff members and the public are reminded NOT to contact the Police Department regarding school closings.

WILL SCHOOLS CLOSE IF CONDITIONS WORSEN? – Please keep in mind that, even if weather conditions worsen, the decision to close schools for the day cannot be reversed without endangering students. When the decision is made to open the schools, many parents rely on it and leave for work. If we then send students back home, many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses. If conditions worsen during the school day, a decision to conduct an early dismissal will be considered.