HOW CAN I MAKE SURE I AM INFORMED OF SCHOOL CLOSINGS/CANCELLATIONS?
The best thing you can do is to make sure that your emergency contact information on file at your child’s school is accurate. In most cases, we will use the School’s auto-dialer phone service– School messenger- to notify parents of closings or emergencies. However, the auto-dialer system pulls students’ contact information directly from our student database. If your home and/or cell phone numbers are incorrect in our database, you will not be able to receive these important updates. When bad weather is forecast, please monitor local news media outlets as well as District communication outlets for information and updates. We will provide area news with immediate updates, as well as posting information on closings the school’s website at www.noblecolumbus.org.
Question: When is the decision to delay or cancel school made?
Answer: As early as possible. Usually, the decision to delay or cancel school will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. In some cases, the decision may be made the night before, if weather conditions warrant. It is difficult to make decisions to delay or cancel school based upon a forecast alone. Consequently, decisions are predominantly made between 5:00 – 6:00 AM.
WHAT FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOLS?
Noble Academy operates according to the decision of Columbus Public Schools on closings due to severe weather. While school closures are generally a result of poor weather conditions, other factors can also impact the decision to close schools. Regardless of the issue, we make the decision to open/close schools or modify the school day schedule based upon a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:
Weather forecasts (including those from a weather alert service);
The timing of expected weather, and if conditions are expected to worsen or improve:
Information on road conditions from our transportation staff and local officials;
Impact on our transportation fleet (diesel fuel begins to gel at sub-zero temperatures);
Building conditions, such as whether the buildings have electricity, heat and water;
Amount of accumulated snow and ice, and our ability to clear school parking lots and sidewalks;
Ambient (surrounding air) temperature and the wind-chill factor.
HOW ARE STAFF AND PARENTS NOTIFIED OF A CLOSING?
Our closing will be announced in several different outlets including the local news (NBC4i, 10TV, Columbus Dispatch, ABC6), school reach (phone call, text and email) and an announcement on our school’s database as well as school website homepage http://www.noblecolumbus.org). We utilize these different methods of communication to effectively deliver important news in a timely manner. Calls are scheduled to be sent no earlier than 6:00 a.m.
WILL BUSES RUN ON-TIME DURING INCLEMENT WEATHER? We are utilizing the buses of different school districts. When the District’s schools are in session, all bus stops will be serviced, even during inclement weather. Buses may run late for a variety of reasons, including traffic and road conditions. Take measures to ensure your child is wearing suitable clothing for the day’s weather in the event he/she must wait at the bus stop for a longer-than-usual time. Parents also should have a contingency plan in the event that a bus is running extremely late or breaks down before reaching the bus stop. Make your child aware of what he/she should do or who to call if the bus does not arrive. Identify a neighbor, friend, or a reliable “student buddy” that can help in the event of an unexpected emergency.
WILL SCHOOLS AUTOMATICALLY CLOSE WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS BELOW ZERO? There is no set temperature at which the district automatically closes schools, but the ambient temperature is one of the many factors (along with wind-chill, road conditions, and weather forecasts) taken into consideration when making a school-closure decision. In most cases, schools can remain open when the ambient air temperature is below zero. As such, parents should ensure that their child is dressed appropriately for expected weather conditions.
AT WHAT WIND-CHILL FACTOR WILL THE DISTRICT BE CLOSED? Because there are many media and weather sources reporting ambient temperatures and wind-chill factors from throughout the area (often reporting different temperatures or wind chills at the same time) we have not published a specific temperature or wind-chill factor that would automatically close our schools.
WHEN SCHOOL IS CLOSED FOR THE DAY, ARE AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES CANCELLED AS WELL? Generally speaking, evening activities, aftercare, events, and athletic practices are cancelled when school is closed for the day; however, there are occasions when an event might occur even when schools have been closed. Please monitor the school’s website and social media outlets for special instructions.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR A POSSIBLE SCHOOL CLOSING? All families should make arrangements for their children in the event of a school closure.
Children should know where to go if a parent will not be home, and how to contact the parent, guardian, or another adult with whom there are back-up arrangements.
Parent contact information, including work and cell phone numbers, should be kept up-to-date with the school.
In cold weather students should be dressed appropriately for the conditions, as it is impossible to predict when a school might have to be evacuated due to an emergency.
DOES NOBLE ACADEMY HAVE A PLAN FOR A DELAYED START? Noble Academy Columbus is getting transportation services from different school districts such as Dublin City Schools, Southwestern City Schools or Columbus City Schools. Because their buses are serving multiple schools in a two-tiered routing system, it is not feasible to operate a delayed-start schedule.
WHAT IF I BELIEVE IT’S UNSAFE FOR MY CHILD TO COME TO SCHOOL BECAUSE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD? Since parents and guardians are the legal representative for their child, it is their right to decide what is best for their child with respect to safety concerns. The option to keep a child home from school when the parent considers the weather conditions to be excessively dangerous is always at the parents’ discretion, and the school understands and respects the decision. However, if school is in session, the parent should notify the school that their child will be remaining at home on a “Parental Excused Absence.” While the absence will be considered “excused,” it will still be counted as an absence for the day.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PUBLIC SERVICES OR UTILITIES ARE DISRUPTED? Due to circumstances beyond our control schools may experience power outages or other emergencies, such as gas leaks, water service disruption, etc. Should events of this nature occur, District personnel will make every effort to provide for student and staff comfort and safety. While disruptive, schools can often remain in session when without power. The school does not want to send students home unsupervised or to a home without electric or water. If the principal determines that school cannot continue for the duration of the day, the school will notify parents via the emergency calling system, notify the media, and post an announcement on the District’s website and social media outlets.