JASPER — Parents of Jasper school students received a letter from superintendent, Dr. Tracy Lorey, explaining Greater Jasper School’s inclement weather policy.
Dr. Lorey joined news director David Shepherd Sunday morning on the Jasper School’s Forum on WITZ FM, to discuss inclement weather and how the school system responds when Old Man Winter does strike.
Of course, you can always count on your news and information station, 104.7 WITZ FM for the very latest school closings and delays when winter weather does eventually wreck havoc on the area.
Below is the letter school officials sent to parents regarding the inclement weather policy.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
The winter season is upon us. Our district staff understands that our decision to delay or close schools in bad weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served-both academically and socially by being in school. However, our top priority is the safety of our students.
- HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that we make the decision to delay or close school in bad weather based on a careful analysis of relevant factors such as:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff and from police. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. Also, we must consider that some high school students drive to school.
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
- Whether precipitation is continuing.
- Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat).
- Parking lot conditions. Administrators talk to maintenance and custodial staff
members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and
- Temperature and wind chill. Please remember that some of our students walk
to school and some must wait outside for the bus.
- Weather predictions. We prefer not making our decision based on weather
predictions, which are not always accurate, but sometimes this is unavoidable.
- What other school districts are doing. We also share information with other
local districts and check whether they are delaying or closing.
- WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from other sources.
- HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
We will utilize our SchoolMessenger calling system to initially notify all students and staff of a change in the school schedule. You may also tune to local television and radio stations for up-to-date information on school closings. The district website, www.gjcs.k12.in.us will also be edited to show the status of our school session. Please do not call the schools unless it is an emergency.
- WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
Every attempt is made to make the decision by 6:00 am or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations and post the decision on our web site.
- WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN?
If conditions get worse during the school day, we may need to dismiss early, but we will give adequate notice to all parents first.
Although we do our absolute best in this process, we know that no perfect decision exists.
We hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process that our district staff uses to make the best possible decision regarding school delays and closings due to inclement weather.
Tracy Lorey, Ph.D.