Note regarding school closures from superintendent John Kment



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“Snow and cold are both four-letter words. The following is an attempt to explain the procedures used in deciding if Roseville is going to stay open or close when we are experiencing harsh weather conditions. If I know that we are going to have an abundance of snow or very cold weather, I attempt to make a decision before 5:00 p.m. so that the information will go out on the 6:00 p.m. news. This early decision also allows parents to obtain child care if necessary. This is not always possible especially when dealing with anticipated snow that is supposed to arrive after dark or early in the morning. A lot of factors determine if we are going to close, stay open or in some cases have the staff report and not the students. Some of the factors are as follows:

  • The amount of snow.
  • The timing of the snow
  • Is it a wet snow?
  • It it a blowing snow?
  • Is more snow going to arrive while we are in session?
  • Temperature/Wind Chill

I will not dismiss students and close school once the school day has started. In many cases, there is nobody at home and I am sure you understand that we do not want students leaving school and going to a non-attended house If we are closed, there are no sporting events, no practices and no extra-curricular activities to take place. If we keep our students home and they are not getting an education, there is no way we can justify having them come in for practice or an activity.

There is no general rule on what the wind chill factor or temperature has to be for us to close. Each district decides on their own if they are going to stay open or if they are going to close. 50% of our students walk to school and the general rule for Roseville is that if the wind chill is close to -15 or below we are going to cancel school. We also have to consider the condition of the sidewalks which can be icy if there is a wet deep snow. We do not want students to arrive at school with wet clothes on and have to sit the entire day without dry clothes.

Buses are another issue to think about. A district in the North end of our county may close while a district at the South end may stay open or vice-versa. Roseville has 23 buses. Many districts, especially the larger ones at the North end have many more than we have. If the roads in the North end are extremely icy and the buses have to drive down crowned roads, this creates a very dangerous situation for the buses. The cold temperature also makes it difficult for the district buses to start. If we are open, bus drivers come in early in order to be sure our buses are running and able to pick up students.

We also have to be concerned about attendance. If a large number of staff do not show up, we have to find subs which is becoming more difficult. If we stay open and the students do not report, we have a minimum attendance requirement in order for that day to count. The district student attendance must be 75% or the day does not count as a school day.

The current State Aide Act says school districts can close for up to six (6) days without having to make up the time. In last year’s extreme weather, we closed nine days but thanks to a variation in the method the State used to calculate hours and days, we did not have to make up the three additional days. That was a one-time solution and it’s impossible to predict what the State will do if we exceed six days this year. “