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Inclement Weather Procedures – ‘Tis the Season

Winter Weather  
 
Inclement Weather Procedures – ‘Tis the Season 12/07/2016
 
Despite forecasts, we know that eventually we will likely experience winter weather here in Cabarrus County. And we know, winter weather can wreak havoc on the school year calendar with delays, closings, and make-up days.
 
Cabarrus County Schools wants to help parents, staff and the community prepare for any changes to the school schedule that might occur as a result of inclement weather or other emergency situations.
 
Remember, you can always call the CCS Information Line at 704-784-6197 to find out current information about any district-wide school closings or delays.
 
Decisions, Decisions
 
The superintendent uses information obtained from weather forecasts and district personnel about road conditions when determining whether school should be cancelled, delayed, or dismissed early due to severe weather.
 
Decisions about delaying or canceling school or dismissing school early as a result of inclement weather – or even the threat of inclement weather – are never easy. CCS always will err on the side of caution to keep our students and employees safe.
 
In addition to weather and road conditions, we also have to consider the many new and inexperienced student drivers who drive themselves to school each day.

When school must be dismissed early or is closed, parents should make arrangements for childcare, as the KIDS:PLUS after-school and before-school programs will not operate on those days.
 
The View From Here
 
Cabarrus County Schools encompasses a large geographic area, and as such, road conditions in one part of the county can differ from those on another side of the county. Just because the view outside your door is clear doesn’t mean it’s that same way a few miles away. We have to factor in all road conditions and evaluate whether it is safe to put buses, student drivers and our employees on the road.
 
In addition to relying on weather reports, we also rely on reconnaissance gained from a special group of employees who actually drive the roads of our county to assess road conditions. They check the conditions on the main thoroughfares and many of the secondary roads, which our school buses, employees, parents and student drivers will be traveling on.
 
Word On The Street
 
Information about school cancellations, delays and early dismissals will be posted to the district website at www.cabarrus.k12.nc.us. Additionally, the CCS Communications and Public Information Office will contact families and staff via the Blackboard Connect notification system by phone and email with an appropriate message. Information also will be shared on:
  • CCS social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)
  • Local media outlets (newspaper, radio and television
Making Up Is Hard To Do
 
 Snow days may be fun, but then…reality sets in.
Will we have to make up the day? Perhaps.
When will the make-up day be? We will let you know.
These are great questions, and we wish we had a simple answer. However, there are numerous factors to consider regarding make-up days. First and foremost is whether students have logged enough hours in school to comply with the N.C. school calendar law, which requires public school students to attend school for 1,025 hours. The law also dictates when school can begin and when it can end, but it does not ‘build in’ extra days to the calendar that can be used as a ‘buffer’ in anticipation of inclement weather.
 
If our school system has surpassed or is on track to surpass the state requirements, the missed day may be forgiven. Other factors when determining make-up days include:
  • Weather forecasts for subsequent days (is more inclement weather possible?)
  • Protecting certain designated days on the school calendar, e.g. Spring Break
  • Likelihood of additional inclement weather – typically, January and February are when most of our inclement weather occurs
The Cabarrus County Board of Education approves the academic calendar, which includes designated make-up days (many of which are holidays), as well as the option to use Saturdays as make-up days instead of a designated day. Using Saturdays sometimes provides a better chance of preserving an extended break such as Spring Break.
 
We understand that Saturday make-up days may conflict with family plans. Rest assured our principals and teachers will work with students affected to make-up missed assignments.
 
Final thoughts
 
The information that you receive from CCS or that you see posted on an official district communication channel (website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) is the only information you should deem reliable.
 
No announcement or notification from the district means it’s business as usual, and school is operating on a normal schedule.
 
Related Information
2016-2017 Student Calendars



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