Snow Days at APS

How and When We Decide
Posted on 01/26/2023
Image of APS logoAs we begin to feel the onset of winter, Akron Public Schools is sending this as a reminder of how we evaluate winter weather and its impact on our daily operations.

We understand that our decision to stay open or to close schools in bad weather has a significant effect on our students and their families. So, back by popular demand are the reasons for the decisions we are charged with making during inclement weather. This helps our families with the choices they have to make, as well, during nasty winter weather.

Most vital for families to know is that we understand children are better served both academically and socially by being in school as often as possible. Balanced with that, of course, is our priority for their safety. But our desire is for children to have continuity to their education and be in school as often as possible.

The following information is what we consider in all decisions relative to closing school due to inclement weather:

1. Information from state, county and city officials focused on road conditions, along with both the short- and long-term weather forecasts

2. Information from our bus transportation providers including their individual recommendations focused on sending the buses out on the roads

3. A conversation with our individual supervisor of buildings and grounds to ensure the parking lots can be open for parking both during the opening and closing of the school day

Ultimately, considering the information above, the decision also includes the following important factors:

1. Temperature, including wind chill factor

2. Wind velocity impacting the blowing and drifting of snow

3. Buses running routes on a slower pace having an impact on the length of time students may be waiting at bus stops

4. Parents/guardians driving their sons/daughters to school in poor driving conditions and high school age students with little experience driving to school

5. Number of inches of projected snowfall

One loud criticism every year is that Akron Public Schools typically does not implement late starts or early dismissals due to inclement weather. Through past experience, we have learned that coordinating an alternate time for school-provided transportation to drop off/pick up is not possible. It is complicated by the fact our buses drive students to districts and schools throughout and even outside of greater Akron. In fact, they transport students to schools in five counties.

In addition, an early dismissal introduces the risk of sending a young student home to an empty house. We believe that knowing students are inside, safe, warm and learning is a better choice than unintentionally sending students home to an empty house.

Finally, we do know that most families would like to know as early as possible what our decision is. Due to the unpredictability of our weather, we always want to make the best decision and that is often not the earliest decision.
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