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School Closing Information

What are the factors considered when school is cancelled? First and foremost, the safety and well being of our students, staff and families are paramount in any decision to close schools. When a “snow day” or “inclement weather day” is called, it is done as early as possible (before 5:30 a.m. and often earlier) after much deliberation among District officials who monitor road and building conditions throughout the night; in consultation with area school superintendents; and with expert advice from a national meteorologist.

The weather conditions and issues taken into consideration in closing schools due to inclement weather include:

  • The amount of snowfall and its impact on road (including side roads and dirt roads) and parking lot conditions and the ability to safely transport students to school.
     
  • The timing of a storm and the ability of local road crews and District personnel to clear roads and parking lots in time for the safe transport of students to school.
     
  • Dangerous temperatures or wind chills that carry a high risk for frostbite in a short period of time (30 minutes or less). To close school based on cold alone (rather than in conjunction with concerns about road conditions, bus issues or other safety considerations), the actual temperature combined with wind chill considerations would be greater (colder) than -20 to -25 degrees below zero. This figure is based on the range of temperature / wind chill that carries a higher risk of frostbite at the thirty minute threshold (for exposed skin.)
     
  • Building problems caused by weather conditions such as loss of heat, power or water service.

 

Closing Protocol During the School Day

  1. If inclement weather begins during the school day, conditions are assessed regarding weather predictions before school is released for the day.
  2. A decision to release school early must consider the ability for parents/guardians to pick up students in a safe manner and to ensure that all parents/guardians are notified of the early closing.
  3. Texts and emails are sent to families with instructions as to the school closing protocol to include:
    • Anticipated busing schedule
    • Notification to elementary school if no one is at home to receive the student(s)

It is the expectation that every employee will be responsible to monitor for the Mass Notifications call/text and email, as well as the media postings to ensure they are aware of a school closing announcement. 

 

State of Michigan “Snow Day” Provision

The State of Michigan allows for 30-hours of school instructional time to be waived due to inclement weather or “Act of God Days”. That equals about six school days that the district can be closed without having to make up the time. If FPS exceeds the 30-hours of loss of instruction, the District will be required to make up the instructional time lost.

 

Unsafe Weather Guidelines

On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below 0ºF: Students will not have recess outside

On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below -20ºF (20 below zero) schools will be closed.

The National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Warning when wind chills are -25 or colder

The National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Advisory when wind chills are -15 or colder.

 

Ways that school closings are communicated:

  • Finalsite Mass Notifications (phone, text, email)
     
  • The District’s Facebook Page and Twitter Account
     
  • The District and School Websites
     
  • The District’s cable channel – TV-10
     
  • Local media outlets (WJBK-TV (FOX 2), WDIV-TV (Local 4), WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), WWJ-TV (CBS Detroit), WKBD-TV (CW50), WWJ News radio 950 and News/Talk WJR-AM 760.) • School Phone Line – 248. 489. 3349