When the snow falls how do schools respond?
The Indiana Department of Education plans provide for as safe an environment as possible for school children. The Indianapolis branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) says most school systems have several sources for weather information including NOAA weather radio, local radio and television and internet or paging services. Schools have a plan for delaying, early dismissal or cancelling school based on forecast or observed weather and road conditions.
Weather watches usually prompt discussion of plans. The NWS says actual conditions or winter weather warnings or winter weather advisories will usually prompt delays, early closures or cancellations. Temperatures, snow, freezing rain or road conditions determine a school's course of action.
During the winter months WPTA21 as well as other local radio and television sources carry information on school plans as well as plans for other organizations. You can also find school and business closures online at www.WPTA21.com/closings.
School officials will often test road conditions before making decisions. Most schools have mobile communications for bus drivers and announce to teachers and students at school any plans differing from normal. School officials and bus drivers are in communication if weather or road conditions require an alternate route of travel.
School officials and bus drivers are also aware of the signs of hypothermia or frostbite in case children have to wait a long time at bus stops. Many schools have automated phone messaging or texting ability to inform you of changes in school activities. Monitoring forecasts and school plans through WPTA21, school web sites or school phone message services will keep you updated on school plans.
The NWS said drivers should be especially cautious when traveling through neighborhoods or near bus stops and schools. Falling snow and ice can make it difficult to see children walking to school or waiting for the bus especially during dark early morning hours.