2018-01-11 / Community

MAS News

Maryann Boddy

There are some questions that I get asked on a regular basis, but there is one question that always comes up at this time of year. That question: “what goes into making the decision for a late start or school cancellation due to winter weather?”

The answer: a lot!

The Delta-Schoolcraft ISD Superintendents keep a close watch on the weather all through the school year. If the National Weather Service posts warnings for severe weather in the area, the superintendents begin communicating and planning. At all times, weather conditions are monitored to ensure that students can be safely delivered to schools and returned home. Student safety is the ultimate concern for all students at Manistique Area Schools.

During the winter months, road conditions are checked beginning around 4:45 a.m. On days when road conditions may be of concern, school officials are on the road and in contact with surrounding schools, law enforcement, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, and drivers of the more rural bus routes.

By 5:20 a.m. the superintendent will make the decision to close or delay school. Once the decision is made to delay or close school the media is notified no later than 5:30 a.m. (except in extreme conditions) and parents are informed via the news media, automated messages created through PowerSchool, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you are not currently signed up to receive automated messages contact the school office for information on how to sign up for messages.

Parents are encouraged to stay tuned to local media, particularly in the case of a school delay. On rare occasions a decision may be made to move from a delay status to a closed status. If school is closed for the day, decisions on after-school activities such as athletic activities are considered on an individual basis.

Decisions to close or delay school due to hazardous road conditions are based on the ability to successfully navigate buses both in town and in the county areas. Weather conditions across the district can vary greatly due to the potential of lake effect snow. The temperature and wind chill factor, as well as the safety of children who walk to school are also considered.

As a general rule, a wind chill factor of negative 30 degrees will be the determining factor as to whether to close or delay school. Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in a relatively short time for children out in extreme temperatures.

Parents are encouraged to ensure that students are appropriately dressed for these conditions while waiting at the bus stop, or walking to and from school. Decisions to close or delay school will take into consideration the current conditions as well as the duration of the wind chill factor predictions.

If the decision is made that the school will be delayed two hours, the middle and high school will start at 10:15 a.m. and Emerald Elementary will start at 10:25 a.m. Buses will arrive at the designated bus stop two hours later than on a normal school day.

There is no school breakfast served on a two-hour delay schedule. If you have other questions on school delays or cancellations, please call Maryann Boddy at (906) 286-2802.

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