Emergency School Closings and Delays
Student safety is a primary goal of the Hemlock Public Schools. At all times, weather conditions are monitored to ensure that students can be safely delivered to school and returned home. Parents are strongly encouraged to make arrangements for the welfare of their children due to school closings or delays and ensure that their children are appropriately dressed for weather conditions.
Weather and road conditions are monitored by the Transportation Coordinator on a daily basis. During the winter months, the Transportation Coordinator, along with assistance of other area schools, begins to monitor road conditions at 4:00-4:30 a.m. Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. the Transportation Coordinator will make a recommendation to the Superintendent to close or delay schools.
When weather conditions, such as severe cold or heavy snow, can be predicted before 4:30 a.m., the Transportation Coordinator will recommend closing or a delay of start the night before. Once the recommendation to close is accepted by the Superintendent, the media is notified no later than 5:30 a.m. (except in extreme conditions) and parents are informed via the news media, the internet, and School Messenger.
School closing and delay information is available on the Hemlock Public School District website at hemlockps.com.
In the event of a delay or closing, the following media will be notified:
Radio: WCFX, WHNN, WIOG, WSGW, WGER, WXQL, WCEN, WSAM, WKCQ, WEEG
Television: WJRT-TV 12, WEYI-TV25, WNEM-TV5, WSMH-Fox 66
Parents are encouraged to stay tuned to local media, particularly in the case of a school delay. On rare occasions, a decision may be made to move from a delay status to a closed status. If school is closed for the entire day, after school activities and Latch Key are canceled as well. High school athletic activities are considered on an individual basis and Infant and Child Care remain open.
Hazardous Road Conditions:
Decisions to close or delay school due to hazardous road conditions are determined by the Transportation Coordinator and the Superintendent of Schools based on the ability to successfully navigate buses, both within the city limits and the county areas. Weather conditions across the district can vary greatly. The conditions of the parking lots, wind chill factor, temperature, and the safety of children who walk to school are also factors considered.
As a general rule, a sustained wind chill factor of -20 or greater will be the determining factor as to whether to close or delay school. Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in a relatively short time for children out in extreme temperatures. Parents are encouraged to ensure that students are appropriately dressed for these conditions while waiting at the bus stop or walking to and from school. Decisions to close or delay school will take into consideration the current conditions as well as the duration of the wind chill factor prediction. Wind chill decisions will almost always be made in the morning of a school closing/delay.
As in the case of hazardous road conditions, fog conditions can vary greatly across the district. Consideration to delay the start of school for fog conditions will be determined by 5:30 a.m.
Our bus drivers are trained to know how and where to seek safety for children in the event of a tornado. Drivers are also instructed by the Transportation Department, which will be monitoring weather alert warnings. Individual buses or the fleet may be ordered back to the school(s) to safely unload students at school building(s) or to the nearest school site.
One and Two Hour Delay Schedule:
If the notice is given that school will be delayed, instruction will begin one or two hours late depending on the length of the delay. If your students ride the bus, they will be picked up late according to the delay (one or two hours). There is no breakfast served on a two-hour delay schedule.
Please note that a one or two hour delay can change to a cancelation of school, if weather conditions warrant.
Early Dismissal Due to Weather Conditions:
On rare occasions, weather conditions may necessitate closing school early. If this should occur, the same media will be contacted and parents should have childcare arrangements in place.
Hemlock Public School District will follow the guidelines established by the National Nurses’ Association for outdoor recess:
Feels like 25 degrees and above (considers wind chill factor) – Outdoor Recess
Feels like 16-25 degrees (considers wind chill factor) - Abbreviated Outdoor Recess to 5 or 10 minutes
Feels like 15 degrees or below (considers wind chill factor) – Inside Recess