Our district staff understands the decision to open or close schools in bad weather has a significant effect on families. We also understand our students are better served—both academically and socially—by being in school. But, as always, our top priority is the safety of our students and staff.
The Director of Transportation and additional staff will begin assessing the various bus routes in the district in the event of severe weather. Staff is selected by the Director of Transportation based upon the area of the county that is experiencing severe weather. The district covers approximately 200 square miles in Johnson County and both rural and in-town routes are considered.
Decisions are made using the following relevant factors:
Information on road conditions from transportation. Careful consideration is given to the most rural roads in the district. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. Also, we must consider high school students that drive to school.
Amount of snow and ice that has accumulated.
Is the precipitation expected to continue?
Availability of heat and electricity to school buildings.
Parking lot and sidewalk conditions are considered. Administrators talk to maintenance and custodial staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
Temperature and wind chill. Some of our students walk to school, and some must wait outside for the bus.
Weather predictions. We prefer not making our decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate, but sometimes this is unavoidable.
When necessary, the Director of Transportation will coordinate with the Johnson County Sheriff dispatch office. This office provides a central hub for information for the Johnson County area.
What other school districts are doing? We also share information with other local districts and check whether they are opening or closing.
The Superintendent makes the final decision about school closing or a delayed start of the school day. If at all possible, a decision will be made the night before to try and provide parents with advance notice time to make necessary arrangements. If a decision is not possible the night before, a decision will be made by 5:00 that morning.
As soon as a decision is made, the Director of Community Relations will send a message out to all parents/guardians through the district Skyward Family Access system and also School Messenger. Local TV stations will also be notified. Social media sites – Twitter, Facebook – will also be used to disseminate information.
Students are required to have 75,600 minutes of instruction per school year. Students in Cleburne ISD attend school a few additional minutes each day. These extra minutes of instruction can be banked and used first in Severe weather situations. The first four days that Cleburne school closes for Severe weather, will not require additional instructional days. If the Severe weather days exceed four days, then the school district will be required to make up the missed instructional minutes. Additional minutes will be added to the remaining instructional days in order to meet the 75,600 minimum minutes of instruction per year.
Major closures or unusual weather conditions will be addressed as they occur and any calendar adjustments made as needed.
All extra-curricular activities will be canceled in the event that the school district has decided to close. Any extenuating circumstances should be discussed with the Athletic Director and a final decision made by the Superintendent.
If weather conditions appear to be clearing up and a safe school start can occur using a delayed start, the decision to delay the start of school will be made. A delayed start is a two-hour delay. This would mean all morning activities would start two hours later.
Regular bus pick up times would be two hours later.
All school campus start times would be two hours later than normal.
If weather conditions begin to deteriorate during the school day, a decision to release school early may be made. The main reason for an early dismissal is not to get the students home earlier but rather to allow the bus drivers a longer amount of time in which to safely navigate roads with deteriorating conditions safely home. We try to make that decision as early as possible in order to adequately coordinate the dismissal process. As soon as it is determined to dismiss early, the dismissal times for each grade level will be posted immediately on the District's website.
All parents/guardians will be notified by verbal communication if an early release becomes necessary. This notification will more than likely come from your child’s classroom at the time of dismissal. High School students, who provide their own method of transportation, will still need to notify a parent before leaving campus.
The Director of Community Relations will use the same media venues to assist in notifying the community and parents of an early release.
All extra-curricular activities will be cancelled in the event that the school district has decided to dismiss school early. Any extenuating circumstances should be discussed with the Athletic Director and a final decision made by the Superintendent.