Here's how San Antonio-area schools decide whether to cancel classes
SAN ANTONIO – Every major school district in San Antonio closed their doors on Tuesday due to potentially hazardous icy weather conditions.
After San Antonio's December snow day, districts shared what goes into the decision making process when deciding whether to cancel school.
See what each district told KSAT when asked about the school cancelation process...
Alamo Heights ISD:
The district said safety is their main priority. Members of the school district check on road conditions themselves, then determine whether roads are safe. "We make these decisions using all resources available to us, with the knowledge that it is important for our parents to be at work in a safe and timely manner, as well," the district said in a statement.
East Central ISD:
"ECPD (East Central Police Department) and district officials monitor weather conditions throughout the night along with TxDOT, and our Transportation Department. The roads are driven by our police chief and transportation staff members in the early morning (3:30-4: 30 AM) and media outlets and local weather monitored. With the information gathered, our superintendent gets on a conference call at 4:30 AM with other surrounding district leadership and a determination is made as to whether the roads are safe, or not, with safety for all at the center of the discussion. Student safety is our top priority.
Parents always have the right to make decisions in the best interest of their children at all times. Normally, we would rather cancel school completely during inclement conditions that warrant because a delay is hard for families and our campuses. Many of our parents work and if the streets are safe for travel, they will be expected to go to work. It would be difficult for them to leave their elementary aged children home and hope they catch the bus 2 hours later. "
"In the event of inclement weather, Harlandale ISD closely monitors updated weather forecasts and road conditions to make a decision regarding possible school closures or delays. Throughout the decision-making process, Harlandale ISD utilizes information from the Texas Department of Transportation to assess the safety conditions of the roads and is in direct contact with area police departments, our transportation department, and other area school districts. A decision is made in the best interest or our students and staff no later than 5 a.m. Parents and staff are notified through our social media pages, our website, our automated call system and through local media."
"We assess what the forecasted conditions are to be…whether inclement weather is expected to continue. Whether the moisture that has fallen is likely to stay on surfaces or evaporate and what morning low temperature will be. We also begin driving the roads in the area by 3:30 a.m. to see what road/bridge conditions are like and test roads through the time when drivers begin to come in for runs. Check to see if any road closures are in effect and their locations. We also consult other neighboring school districts as to what they are seeing as well."
North East ISD:
"The District is constantly monitoring weather/driving conditions in the event of a possible weather event. The District is also in contact with TxDOT, the Department of Transportation, along with SAPD and NEPD. In addition, District leaders, including the superintendent drive the roadways themselves, starting around 3:30 am. Then, the superintendent gathers information from across the District and confers with other area superintendents from large districts who have been doing the same.
If roadways are safe, school will go on as planned. Media coverage is also monitored and on Friday morning, every media outlet had reporters driving on the roadways reporting roadway conditions were good and any issues were very isolated."
"Northside ISD makes decisions about the potential closing of schools due to inclement weather based on many factors including current road conditions, updated weather forecasts, and in consultation with other area school districts. In the majority of instances when the inclement weather could potentially impact the normal start to our school day, we feel it is best practice, given how quickly weather conditions can change, to make those decisions early in the morning when we have the most recent information at our disposal.
Our standard practice is to utilize information from various sources, including the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Northside ISD Police Department, the NISD Transportation Department, and others when assessing the safety conditions of roads."
San Antonio ISD:
"In making a decision related to potential severe weather, we closely monitor weather reports and road conditions, consulting with our District police and transportation departments. In many cases, such as last week where there are changing weather conditions, we wait until early morning to make the decision based on the latest information on road conditions and weather expectations. Our process includes checking with other districts and takes into consideration that many of our employees live in other areas of the city.
We alerted parents the evening before that our current plans were to be open, but that any change to that would be communicated through the media, our website, social channels and our phone notification system."
"It's all about safety. Safety on the roads for buses, for parents, for staff members. The decision is one that starts early in the morning with all of the Superintendents of districts in Bexar County. Road condition reports are gathered beginning around 3:00 AM. The Superintendents of the larger school districts in SA will make their call to cancel school or not. Somerset ISD then makes the determination based the safety of the roadways for our families and bus routes in our district, in addition to conditions in San Antonio. 80% of Somerset ISD employees reside in San Antonio. While it's not automatic, if the large districts in SA cancel class, Somerset ISD would probably do the same."
South San ISD:
"We take a number of things into consideration, first we send employees from our police department and transportation department to drive the roads as early as 3:30 am. Information concerning road conditions is communicated to the superintendent. In addition, Bexar County superintendents share information with each other concerning any delayed school starts or cancellations. Based on this information, the superintendent decides whether schools will be delayed in opening that day, be closed, or operate as usual. He communicates this information to the senior district staff and to our public information officer. All this occurs by 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. Our public information officer posts this information on our website as quickly as possible."
"Four to six district officials monitor the weather throughout the night and in concert with other agencies; TxDOT, SWISD PD, SWISD Transportation Department, and the Superintendent’s Office. The roads are driven by at least 4-5 staff members (including the Supt.) in the early morning (3:30-4:00 AM) and media outlets and local weather monitored. In conference and partnership with other surrounding district leadership, a determination is made to safe passage, or not. At the front of any decision is safe transportation and student safety."
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