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Deciding delayed starts and snow days

Deciding whether to delay or close school when the weather gets bad in CCSD is a careful, deliberative process that begins with the earliest forecasts and models.

This process begins as soon as district officials receive information that a storm is on the way, and incorporates data from the entirety of the Cherry Creek School District's 108 square miles. Any final decision regarding closures or delays is based on the safety of students, staff and community members from across the district. These decisions are collective – we cannot only close one portion of the district, so extreme weather in one part of our large area may very well affect the entirety of CCSD.

The procedure for determining whether schools will start on time, be delayed or closed is as follows:

• The district receives ongoing weather forecasts from local meteorologists, NOAA and AccuWeather.

• If snow is forecast, the superintendent, district leaders and Transportation Department staff wake at 3 a.m., survey their immediate areas and begin driving the district in quadrants.

• Beginning at 3 a.m., area drivers report conditions to the superintendent and transportation director.

• The district contacts neighboring districts to share information and probable recommendations.

• The forecast is reviewed.

• Before 4:30 a.m., the transportation director and facility maintenance leaders share information and discuss potential recommendations with the superintendent.

• The superintendent reviews all available information and makes the final decision.

• If a delay or cancellation is to be implemented, families will receive a Blackboard Connect call no later than 6 a.m. The Weather Hotline, 720-554-4701, is updated and notifications are sent to local media agencies and posted on the district website and social media.

• In rare cases, it is possible for the district to make a decision the evening before for the next day. When that happens, families will be notified between 9 to 10 p.m.

Because the Cherry Creek School District is 108 square miles conditions may vary in different areas of the district, even from neighborhood to neighborhood. What's more, decisions are based on predictions and conditions on the ground in the district before 5 a.m. We know that sometimes, extreme weather conditions arise or worsen as students, parents and community members are already commuting.

We are committed to making the best possible decisions when it comes to closures and delays, and taking every measure to ensure the safety of our entire community. Our number-one priority is making sure that everyone is able to make it to school safely, and this goal steers every step of our process.

Parents are urged to make contingency plans for their child(ren) in the event of an emergency. Arrangements should be made for students to go to a neighbor's house, or to have access to the home with directions for contacting a parent.

In no case will an elementary school child be released to a person without proper identification and clearance from the school office.

We understand that some parents may make a different decision for their families. If you feel the weather is too severe to send your child to school, please call your school's attendance line and let them know your child will be staying home. The absence will be excused.

School Closure and Storm Information
Posted 2/25/2013 9:08 AM
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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