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Snow Day Notification Process

November 24, 2013

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It’s that time of year…. the time of year when many of my conversations with students or staff either starts or ends with a discussion about the weather and the possibility of a snow day.  I want to take this opportunity to share information about the plan this year for notifying families in the event of a snow day.

First, the place we post the cancellation first is on the @SalineSchools twitter page.  We do this because it’s simple to do and if users want it will generate a text message directly to their phone.  Second, we post it on the school website, the Saline Schools Facebook page, and it’s recorded as the greeting on the 429-8000 phone line.  Third, it’s called into to local tv and radio media.  Note:  many of these are happening simultaneously.

In the past this was sometimes followed by individual schools (principals) sending automated messages to their families.  The practice always generated mixed feedback from families.  Some was positive – they got the call and then were able to make plans for the day.  Some was not – it was sometimes too early or not early enough. Internally, we debated the merits of the “family all call” and the process of having it done at the building level.

We have made the decision that this year if (and it’s a big IF!) we have a snow day, there will be one “family all call” made from the district office at approximately 5:45am.  This will prevent multiple calls for families with students at multiple buildings.  It will be early enough for most families getting ready for high school or middle school.  It will be very early for families with only elementary students – but will provide with ample notice if alternative arrangements need to made for child care.

If you are in a situation where you or your child are coming to school early – like swim practice, early study hall, etc.  Please make sure to check the other methods of notification and don’t wait for the call.  It is possible and even likely that the decision to close school will be made prior to 5:30am – and posted in the locations noted above.  However, the family all call will still take place at 5:45am – not earlier.

In the end, there is not perfect solution.  We hope this process works for the vast majority of families.

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