In order to assure consistency throughout the Fall/Winter/Spring inclement weather season, descriptive criteria must be identified to assure that decisions are made in accordance with specific sets of factors in various circumstances.
The most important consideration will always be travel safety.
Academy District 20 has at least four unique climatological areas, with significant potential for weather differences among Rockrimmon, Briargate, Black Forest and Gleneagle. Subsequently, if conditions or forecast conditions indicate weather safety concerns in any of these areas, decisions will apply towards the entire district as well as all out-of-district programs serviced by the transportation department.
1. WHAT ARE THE MAIN REASONS FOR DELAY OR CLOSURE?
- Snow accumulation
- Road Conditions
- Weather Conditions (limited visibility, high winds, freezing rain/fog)
- Temperatures/Wind chill
- Building access
- Weather Forecast
2. HOW DOES THE DISTRICT MAKE A DECISION?
If the weather report indicates that there is a possibility of significant inclement weather, the Transportation Department has a three-member driving team who will respond in accordance with conditions at 3:00AM. Actions include:
- Advanced notice to get up and drive the assigned area.
- Get up and assess each residence area, contact the team chief, then jointly determine action.
- Sometimes weather is unexpected, and drive team members may be called between 2:00 and 3:00 and directed to conduct unplanned road evaluations.
If road evaluation is required:
- Constant radio contact is maintained between all members and the Director to report area conditions.
- Contact with the Weather Consultant is made to determine condition expectations through the morning.
- Contact with Colorado Springs and El Paso County road departments to determine sanding/plowing expectations.
- Contact with adjacent districts (11, 38, 49) to share findings and recommendations.
- Final summarization among all team members to finalize recommendation.
- Contact Superintendent (4:15) for decision.
3. IF THE DECISION IS MADE TO DELAY/CLOSE, HOW DO WE GET THE WORD OUT?
• TV and Radio
• District 20 Web Site
• Calling Trees
4. WHAT SPECIFIC FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION PROCESS?
- Snowfall at an accumulation rate of more than one inch per hour with an NWS forecast of equal or greater accumulating snowfall rate continuing through at least 7:00 AM will result in a recommendation for delay.
- Snowfall at an accumulation rate of more than one inch per hour with an NWS forecast of equal or greater accumulating snowfall rate continuing through at least 9:00 AM will result in a recommendation for closure. This recommendation will generally follow a delay that has already been announced through the media.
- Deteriorating road conditions reported by any members of the road evaluation team that are not expected to improve by 7:00 AM will result in a recommendation for delay.
- A second road network evaluation will be conducted between 6:00 and 7:00 AM. If road conditions are deemed unsafe and are expected to continue to deteriorate through at least 10:00 AM, a recommendation for closure will be made.
- If D20 facilities teams determine that school areas cannot be safely cleared for the regularly scheduled arrival of students and staff, a recommendation for delay will be made.
5. WHAT DISTRICT POLICIES COVER SCHOOL DELAYS AND CLOSURES?