Snow Day Policies

GCMS families,

Amazingly enough, winter is right around the corner and I wanted to reach out to you with information for your consideration.  Please take a few moments to read and understand the GCMS considerations for weather related cancellations.  Although last minute weather related cancellations are a burden on everyone they are sometimes necessary.  Please make arrangements for your individual situation knowing that they will occur, it is a matter of when and how often.  

Snow Days


Snow events are the most common days for school closings. Factors that are considered when deciding on whether or not to cancel school:

  • Accumulation and drifting
  • Icing
  • Wind speeds (particularly for the country)
  • Temperature
  • Road conditions
  • Forecast Estimates for continued precipitation

When these conditions are impacted I will consult with a number of different people: Township Road Commissioners, area superintendents, and our Transportation Director. There is no single rule of thumb for accumulation amounts and much of the decision depends on the presence of blowing and/or drifting snow especially on country roads.  Every effort will be made to make a decision and inform families as quickly as possible but a decision to cancel school and/or events will not be made solely on a forecast.


Temperature-Related Cancellations

Extreme temperatures are often a part of our winters. Extreme temperatures impact people as well as our buses. Factors considered when making temperature-related cancellation decisions include:

  • Temperature
  • Wind
  • Duration and Timing of Cold Temps
  • Safe Operation of Buses

Our key source of data is the NOAA Wind Chill Chart

When inside the 30-minute exposure area of the graph, attendance is questionable and dependent upon road conditions. 

Before/After School Events

As a rule of thumb, if school is cancelled, all events and practices are cancelled.  The rare occasion where this may change would involve extra-curricular tournament play at the middle or high school level if weather conditions improve throughout the day.  Those situations will be communicated directly should they arise and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  Again, 99% of the time all events will be cancelled if a snow day occurs. 

Parent Responsibility

Student safety is always our first priority, and we ask for your assistance by dressing students appropriately for current conditions.  Though I fully understand that a bad hair day can happen due to wearing a hat, please send your children to school with a coat, hat, and gloves!  

Also, if your child is driving, it is a great idea to equip them with an emergency kit just in case.  IDOT suggests always carrying jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit.

It is possible that on a snow day your child may have been assigned work to complete.  Through the use of technology and advanced planning, many of our teachers will plan for the possibility of snow days by providing assignments or extra work should the snow day occur.  Hopefully this will help you combat students that are saying... “I’m bored” all day ;)

Finally, making a decision about having a snow day is a difficult one.  We will use our best judgment and appreciate your support as we work to ensure student learning and student safety.

Notifications

We will always try to have a call that goes out by 6:00 am for snow days.  The automated system takes about 20 minutes to complete all calls depending on the number of schools closing at the same time.  We will put information out on our Twitter, Facebook, and website immediately for instant notification.

Sincerely,

Mr. Darnell
Superintendent

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