Guideline for 2 Hour Delay due to cold
Generally, Greenfield-Central does not cancel school for cold temperatures, even when temperatures drop well below 0 degrees. The school may, however, determine that a two-hour delay is warranted to allow for students to travel during daylight hours when it is easier to respond to emergency situations in daylight rather than darkness. Please understand that there are conflicting views on cold-related delays or cancellations. Some parents prefer that we delay or cancel school on unusually cold days, easily adapting personal and work schedules to stay at home with young children. Other parents cite that any school delay or cancellation causes them to miss work, adversely impacting their ability to pay for food and housing. These parents represent an increasing number of single-parent and single-income families in our community. Ultimately we must link the decision to delay or cancel school to student safety. During the winter months, we encourage students to bundle up with layers when commuting to and from school and to cover exposed skin when it is unusually cold.
Guideline for Early Dismissal – Grades 7 – 12 (1:25 p.m. approximately)
Grades K – 6 (2:00 p.m. approximately)
Unfortunately, weather conditions can worsen once students are already at school. On those rare occasions, Greenfield-Central Schools may initiate a 2-hour early release for middle and high school students. A common misunderstanding that parents assume is that this subsequently compromises the safety of younger students who are released later. This is not the case. For many of our families, both parents work outside the home. By releasing middle and high school students first, older siblings and babysitters enter the community prior to the dismissal of the younger students who need supervision if parents are not at home.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to recall buses for an early dismissal. Because of the nature of an early dismissal (worsening roads or other emergency conditions), parents may very well receive an AlertNow message with less than 30 minutes’ notification, depending upon the speed of the alert system and other factors. We understand that working parents who drive their children to and from school may need additional time to respond quickly after notification. Children will be held at school under administrative supervision until parents are able to arrive.
The State is very clear about early dismissal. Schools may only dismiss two hours early, not during the lunch hour. Regular dismissal time is at 3:25 for Greenfield-Central junior high and high school students. The earliest we can dismiss secondary students for weather-related issues is at 1:25. On early release days, the dismissal of primary and intermediate students will follow the junior high and high school early releases, essentially at 2:00 and 2:10 respectively, or as soon as secondary bus drivers are able to conclude their routes and safely arrive at our four elementary schools. Safety remains our primary focus during severe weather. We appreciate the patience and understanding of families as we make every effort to get students home safely under challenging weather conditions.
Green Weather conditions are indicated by an outdoor temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit with winds ranging from calm to 15 miles per hour, or 40 degrees Fahrenheit with winds ranging from calm to five miles per hour. Green is acceptable for outdoor activities for most children.
Although children may resist wearing appropriate cooler-weather outdoor clothing, playground supervisors need to establish clearly that proper attire such as hats, mittens, and jackets be worn when warranted.
Yellow Weather conditions are more limiting. In a yellow condition, temperatures can be as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 20 miles per hour or more, or 40 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 10 miles per hour or greater. Temperatures can also drop to 30 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of 10 miles per hour or 20 degrees Fahrenheit with winds of five miles per hour.
Playground supervisors should observe children carefully since children can become too cold from exposure, or too warm from the activity and heavy clothing. Often younger children will want to continue outdoor playtime in spite of showing signs that they are either too hot or too cold. Supervisors may shorten the duration of outdoor activity time.
Red Weather conditions include temperatures in the 30-degree Fahrenheit, range with winds of 15 miles per hour, the 20-degree Fahrenheit range with winds of 10 miles per hour, or any conditions that are colder and/or windier.
During the red conditions, cold temperatures combined with wind chill factors can become a health risk. Appropriately dressed children may have very limited outdoor play periods under vigilant supervision. Outdoor recess time may be shortened or canceled according to weather conditions.
Part of my responsibilities as school superintendent includes making the decision to delay or cancel school. This is never easy as I consider the impact of these decisions for many of our families, especially those with young children who need childcare provisions. Many of our parents have reliable contingency plans, including the use of extended family and siblings; others utilize older students in their neighborhoods. Some, however, have no one to help with their young children, and consequently lose compensation for lost work opportunities. Inevitably, many are inconvenienced with school delays and cancellations, which I sincerely regret. Ultimately, however, we place the safety of our students as the primary reason to delay or cancel school. To check on weather and road conditions, Todd Prazeau, Greenfield-Central Transportation Director, and I begin driving our roads at 5 A.M. We also routinely exchange information with city and county highway departments as well as with police and sheriff departments to help make the decision. Because many of our buses are well into their routes by 6 A.M., we must make the decision to delay or cancel school by 5:45 A.M. Inevitably, we do our best to make informed decisions before placing buses, student drivers, and employees on our roads. This is not easy because road conditions can vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood, as well as by the hour, within our school district. How can parents learn if Greenfield-Central has a delay or cancellation? Greenfield-Central approved the use of the AlertNow emergency notification system, where families can receive email, and/or phone messages to notify them about delays and cancellations. We also routinely call television channels 6, 8, 13 and FOX 59 as early as possible. Other sources of information include the radio stations WRGF, WFMS, WIBC, and WQME. Finally, parents may check out our school website at www.nextfly.biz/greenfield, where we post weather related information as well. We ask, however, that parents not call schools to confirm delays and cancellations, as this works to clog information systems needed for emergency purposes.
Dr. Harold Olin
Superintendent of School
When Greenfield-Central schools are cancelled due to weather related or other emergency conditions, all school non-varsity activities will be cancelled. Varsity events may continue as scheduled if it is determined that in doing so, student safety is not unreasonably compromised. The Superintendent will make the final decision to cancel or proceed with varsity events. Announcements regarding final decisions for Varsity events will be posted on the school website, www.nextfly.biz/greenfield, and over radio station WRGF.
AlertNow contact information is entered/changed via the PowerSchool Parent Portal. If you are having trouble creating your Parent Account for PowerSchool, please call your child’s school for help.