Inclement Weather – District School Closing Procedures
There may be times when inclement weather may cause the district to close our schools, delay start times, or dismiss early. In the event of one of these weather-related schedule changes, we will make every effort to communicate our decision in a timely manner so that our families, staff, and students can prepare. Below are the details of the notification systems and procedures used when making decisions regarding inclement weather or schedule changes.
When a decision is made by the Superintendent regarding a school closing, delayed opening or early release due to inclement weather, an alert message is posted at the top of the District's website. The announcement is made prior to school starting, usually appears by 6:00 a.m. There may be an occasion where a decision is made the night before, in which case, the alert will appear at that time.
The District's automated system (ParentLink) is activated to call, text, and/or email the staff and families of all students in the case of either a school closing, delayed opening, or early release. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date in Home Access Center (HAC) account.
In addition, parents may also receive information by:
- Watching local tv-stations: WAND (NBC-CH17), WICS (ABC-CH20), WCIA (CBS-CH03), WCCU (Fox-CH27) and for Comcast Cable subscribers, Educational Channel 22.
- Listening to local radio stations: Neuhoff Media (WSOY 1340AM, Hot 105.5, ESPN 1050AM, 95 Q, Y 103, Bob FM 97.9, WFMB 104.5, Rock 96.7, Hits 100.7, Mix 99.7, Rock 94.9) Cromwell Radio (Talk 101 FM, Jack FM 105.1, WZNX 106.7, The Party 93.1, Magic 95.5, GRIZ FM 98.1, The Game 93.5)
- Like/follow the District's Facebook Page and Twitter (@DPS61Decatur) social media accounts.
**All other sources relating to Decatur Public Schools schedule changes or cancellation announcements should be considered unreliable.
Making the Decision to Close, Delay or Release Early
We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of all our families and staff during any weather-related cancellations, delays or releasing students early. While we try our best to avoid disrupting regular school schedules as it may inconvenience some parents, staff, and students, the decision to close schools during cold or hot temperatures is made when there is a clear indication that weather conditions could endanger the safety of children and staff. We know many of our students rely on bus transportation and waiting on buses or walking to school during frigid or hot temperatures compromises student safety.
We understand making a decision the day before closing school is much easier for our parents so they can make arrangements for childcare; however, it is not always practical for cold temperature-related closures. It is difficult to base decisions on forecast because we still never know when extreme winter weather is going to hit our area. We encourage parents/guardians to have an emergency backup plan or identify an individual who will serve as an emergency contact should school or after-school programs are canceled.
Worsening Weather Conditions and After-School Activities
The Superintendent monitors weather reports throughout the day. However, the district's policy is to keep schools open until the regular dismissal time. Parents may pick up their children early if they choose by reporting to the schools' main office and signing out your student(s).
In some instances, after-school activities may be canceled due to the weather conditions. We understand the need for parents and guardians to be notified in a timely manner of the cancellation of these after-school programs; however, a decision will not take place prior to 1pm. At that time, messages will appear on the district website as well as posted on our social media accounts. Individual schools may send out an automated message via ParentLink (call, text, email).
We encourage parents/guardians to have an emergency backup plan or identify an individual who will serve as an emergency contact should after-school programs be canceled.