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Procedures for School Delays, Dismissals, or Closings
It is that time of year again where decisions will have to be made concerning school closings or delays due to severe weather situations. When the weather is bad, the Cleburne County School District follows a set of guidelines for deciding if school will be open or closed. The district must make a decision that is the best for all students. For many of our children school is the warmest place for them to be. Many of you work jobs that don’t allow you to go in late due to cold temperatures which means finding someone to watch your children or leaving them unsupervised. This also creates a financial hardship for many families. We realize our decisions may create an inconvenience with your individual circumstances. Therefore, we encourage and strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child (ren). You are always the best judge of your child’s health and safety.
What is the process for deciding when schools are closed, dismissed early, or delayed due to severe weather conditions?
The Superintendent, the Transportation, Building, Maintenance, Safety, and Security Coordinator, and the Transportation Supervisor review the weather conditions and travel county roads beginning early in the morning. They talk with Cleburne County EMA, Heflin Police, Ranburne Police, and Cleburne County Sheriff’s Department, and school district staff to see if all roads and buildings are accessible and safe for students and staff. The administration makes the decision whether to close or delay schools by 5:30 a.m. or earlier when possible, and then communicates this decision to all local news outlets, employees, and to parents via Schoolcast phone and text message. The decisions must be made before the first bus pulls out to pick up students.
The decision for early dismissal follows the same protocol. The Superintendent, the Transportation, Building, Maintenance, Safety, and Security Coordinator, and the Transportation Supervisor review the weather and road conditions. We talk with Cleburne County EMA, Heflin Police, Ranburne Police, and the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Department. We must consider the amount of time our longest route takes to drop off students and return the driver safely back to their home base. We also, when possible, serve lunch before students leave school knowing that for some children there may not be enough to eat at home. But our final decision is based on safety.
There may be times when the temperature is low enough over several days that we must consider delaying due to concerns over bus mechanical issues. Bus transportation is one of the safest and most dependable ways for children to get to school but there are limitations. We do not want to have drivers and students stranded on the side of the road in bad weather conditions.
The decision we make on early dismissal, delayed, or closed schools must take into account the road and weather conditions throughout the county. Although the road and weather conditions might be good in your area our decision must be made county wide. We have multi-handicapped students from every part of the county that ride buses to attend multi-needs classes at CCES, CCMS, and CCHS. Therefore we must follow state and federal attendance laws and make county wide decisions.
How you can find out if schools are closed, dismissed, or delayed?
On days when the weather is bad, listen to any local radio or television station, friend us on Facebook at Cleburne County Schools, for information about school delays or closings. If during registration you have provided a main contact phone number you should be receiving a school cast call and/or text notifying you of any changes. If you are not receiving the calls please contact your school office to check or update your phone number.
Why school is delayed two or three hours? Why not a specific start time?
All schools in Cleburne County do not have the same school day start or end time due to the fact that some schools are feeder schools to larger schools. CCHS and CCMS have students that travel from PGES/Hollis Area and FES. These students grades 7-12 ride buses to FES and PGES and then take a connecting bus to CCMS or CCHS. They have a longer travel time and arrive at CCHS and CCMS later. This is due to the number of available buses and transportation cost effectiveness. Therefore, it is impossible to have all schools start and end at the same time
School Day start times:
RES: 7:30 CCHS: 7:30
RHS: 7:25 CCMS: 7:30
PGES: 7:20 CCES: 7:35 FES: 7:20
If school is delayed how do I know what time the bus will pick up my child?
The bus will run its regular route delayed by the same amount of time as school is delayed. For example-If school is delayed 2 hours and your child is normally picked up at 6:30 AM then the bus will pick up your child at 8:30 AM. We will be asking bus drivers to stop at homes - anytime the temp is below 25 degrees.
How would I be notified if Cleburne County Schools or a particular school is closed for other reasons?
If you have a question about whether schools or a particular school will be closed for reasons
other than severe weather, we will communicate via local radio or television station, friend us on Facebook at Cleburne County School District for information about school closing or delaying. If during registration you have provided a main contact phone number you should be receiving a school cast call and/or text notifying you of any changes. If you are not receiving the calls please contact your school office to check or update your phone number.
If schools are closed, all activities, practices, and games are canceled!
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. The decision to open or close schools during inclement weather brings out some of the strongest community reactions – no matter which way we go with our weather decisions. It is our intention to make the best decision possible. It is hard to predict the weather just ask James Spann! We will always err on the side of caution. We appreciate your understanding of the difficulties in making this decision, and your support in helping your child and our employees get to school or home safely on bad weather days. Please know that we will use safety considerations in making all of our weather decisions.
Superintendent Cleburne County Schools
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