Protocols Regarding Weather Closures/Delays to the Start of the School Day
Lamoille North towns span approximately 251 square miles and weather conditions can often be quite different from one end to the other and in between. In addition, we all know that our Vermont weather can be very unpredictable and can change drastically in a short period of time. Safety is the most important factor.
Our transportation system is centralized and all buses travel from each of our towns to the campus. If one town experiences freezing rain, and the roads are considered potentially unsafe by our road crews in that town, we will close school even if the weather conditions and roads in every other town are safe for travel. Decisions must be made based on the safety of all of our students and staff in all of our towns.
We give consideration to our students who are new drivers on winter roads and to whether the faculty, at large, commuting from all over the state, will be able to arrive safely, and if we will adequately be able to staff the school for the day. We will usually not have a delayed opening unless our road crews make that suggestion. Sometimes a little extra time to treat the roads is needed, especially if a storm hits after the roads have been sanded, but that is the crews’ decision alone to make. A majority of the time, the crews are able to manage weather and road conditions to ensure that the roads designated as bus routes are ready in time for a regular opening of the school day.
We rely most heavily on the expertise of our road crews when it comes to evaluating the weather conditions because they are already out on the roads and have the best “real time” knowledge. We have our cell phones set up for alert text messages from the State of Vermont. Also, we regularly monitor the following sources for forecasts and predictions: The Weather Channel, WCAX, NOAA, Roger Hill from Weathering Heights, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.
We will make every attempt to make school closure decisions by 5:30 am, after talking with road crews from each town. A message will be sent to all families and staff using contact information we have for you in PowerSchool. Please make sure that your contact information is accurate and communicate any changes to your school registrars so that you receive up-to-date information. We try to send all notifications out between 5:30-5:45 am so that we can prevent staff from getting on the roads and give families enough time to make alternative plans.
If at any time, a parent/caregiver feels that conditions are such at home that the roads feel unsafe to drive to school, the parent/caregiver can choose to keep a student(s) home even if we open.