OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
-WEATHER AND SCHOOL DISMISSAL INFORMATION-
TO: ALL PARENTS
FROM: Bruce A. Hibbard, Ph.D., Superintendent
With winter not far away, we want to take this opportunity to explain school policies regarding possible starting delays or cancellations.
The safety of your child and all of our nearly 12,000 students is foremost in our minds and we trust that you understand that some disruptions in routines can occasionally result. Let me assure you that these decisions are not taken lightly. We begin driving roads as soon as conditions begin to change. We are in constant contact with the National Weather Service, state and local police, highway departments and selected bus drivers in various areas of the county. We also are in contact with school officials in Clark, Washington, and Harrison Counties in Indiana and Jefferson County, Kentucky.
Decisions pertaining to the cancellation of school, delays in starting times, or early dismissals are made entirely upon the best possible approach to student safety. Developing conditions during a winter storm dictate the appropriate response on a corporation-wide basis and under these conditions it becomes impossible for us to consider unique family circumstances or what looks “good or bad” for one particular school. The following information may prove helpful as you prepare the necessary contingency plan for your children.
During periods of questionable weather, we will receive advice from a variety of individuals who evaluate pre-assigned areas within the school corporation. We also receive invaluable assistance from the National Weather Service and from state and local officials. We attempt to make necessary announcements by 6:00 a.m. and no later than 6:30 a.m.
We will use our phone alert system that has the ability to call all parents and staff members if we decide to close or delay school. Please make sure that your child(ren)’s school has accurate, updated phone number(s). We will also post closings and/or delays on our corporation website, www.nafcs.k12.in.us. Also, we will post delays and cancellations on FM 88.1 and Cable Channel 25. The broadcast begins at 6:00 a.m. Furthermore, all major network television and radio stations in the area will also be notified.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THESE STATIONS OR SCHOOL OFFICIALS UNLESS YOU HAVE EMERGENCY INFORMATION. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT ALL SCHOOL TELEPHONE LINES REMAIN OPEN FOR EMERGENCY USE.
These stations will also be of significant assistance to you when it becomes necessary to delay the start of school in order to provide county, state and city road crews an opportunity to complete their work. The delayed start may be utilized because state law mandates student attendance for one hundred eighty (180) days regardless of weather. Please be prepared if we must delay especially in cases where work schedules require you to leave home before the later departure time for children.
Although we view early dismissals as the least attractive alternative, please be advised that adverse weather could force the closing of schools during the day. We will avoid this decision whenever possible because of the problems which occur when parents are away from home, but again, please be prepared. We must depend upon you to make the necessary arrangements, and ask that you provide careful instructions to your children as soon as possible.
Regardless of the extent of our road evaluations, it is possible that your bus driver may be forced to avoid portions of a route because of a perceived threat to safety. Drivers have been instructed to make those decisions and we are depending upon your support of their judgment. If we are unable to provide morning bus service, children will be allowed an opportunity to make up their schoolwork. We must also be prepared to return children to school if severe road problems develop after dismissal.
Moreover, some of our students respond more to the pressures of clothing style than they do to hazardous weather. Winter weather requires that they be prepared for late buses. Please assist your child in choosing appropriate clothing and boots for cold weather.
Our New Albany Floyd County bus drivers are among the most reliable and child caring public employees in Indiana. Their driving record and our bus fleet service rank exceptionally high. Please know our entire staff considers your children’s safety as the utmost public trust.