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Emergency School Closings and Delays
Emergency School Closings and Delays
Don Killingbeck/Kelly Phillion
Monday, November 26, 2018

With winter weather upon us, that means adverse weather conditions that lead to school closings and delays. Student safety is a primary goal of the Hemlock Public School District. Weather conditions are monitored to ensure that students can be safely delivered to and from school. Parents are strongly encouraged to make arrangements for the welfare of their children due to school closings or delays and to ensure that their children are dressed appropriately for weather conditions. The following information is provided to help our parents and students understand the process and procedures that will be utilized when making decisions whether to have school, delay or cancel. Please remember that parents and student drivers are responsible for making their own decision whether the conditions are safe for them to travel.


General Procedures: Weather and road conditions are monitored by the Transportation Director on a daily basis. During the winter months, the Transportation Director, along with assistance from 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 Director 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 Director 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, Huskie app, and text. School closing and delay information are available on the Hemlock Public School District website at In the event of a delay or closing, the following media will be notified.



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 Champ Camp/Latch Key are all canceled. (high school athletic events are considered on an individual basis.)


Hazardous Road Conditions: Decisions to close or delay school due to hazardous road conditions are determined by the Transportation Director 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 and the temperature/wind chill factor, and the safety of children who walk to school are considered.


Wind Chill: 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 be taken into consideration with the current conditions, as well as the duration of the wind chill factor predictions.


Fog: 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.


Tornado Warnings: Our bus drivers are trained to know how and where to seek safety for children in the event of a tornado. Drivers are instructed by the Transportation Department, who will be monitoring weather alert warnings. Individual buses or the fleet may be ordered back to the school (s) to unload students at the buildings or to the nearest school site to safely unload students.


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 cancellation of school if weather conditions warrant.


Early Dismissal Due to Weather Conditions: On rare occasions, weather conditions may necessitate closing school early. The same media will be contacted in the event that this is necessary and parents should have childcare arrangements in place should this occur.


Outdoor Activity: 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