Emergency Plans

Inclement Weather Protocols

 

How is the decision made?

The decision to postpone or cancel classes due to inclement weather is based on analysis of all available information at the time the critical decision to delay or close schools must be made.

Information Analysis:

The information and sources considered include:

  • Consultations with local emergency management, law enforcement, and weather experts. In addition to monitoring local weather forecasts, RRISD participates in ongoing Williamson and Travis County emergency management conference calls. Calls are scheduled by county officials any time weather threatens the central Texas region. Because the district is split between multiple municipalities, RRISD monitors all such expert reporting.
  • Information on road and sidewalk conditions from transportation operations staff. Round Rock ISD is 110 square miles consisting of varying terrain and road conditions. The transportation staff serves as the internal experts on area roads. Eyewitness reports from staff provide an invaluable addition to regional emergency management reports.
  • Weather related disruption to facilities. RRISD must evaluate any disruption to facilities that might prove hazardous, such as electrical, heat and water services.
  • Current and projected weather conditions. Because students and staff walk, bike and ride in cars to school beginning as early as 5 a.m., RRISD evaluates current and predicted weather conditions after consulting with regional experts. Reports of accumulated, projected and clearing of road hazards are taken into consideration in the early morning hours.
  • Consideration of neighboring school district and university decisions. RRISD collaborates with area districts to gain a better understanding of how the entire region is affected by inclement weather conditions. While each district is unique, this partnership allows all districts to have a more complete understanding of weather conditions.

Who makes the decision?

A team of district leadership gathers information and makes recommendations from the information and sources above. Ultimately, the Superintendent, or a Chief in the Superintendent’s absence, decides whether or not to modify the regular school schedule.

When is the decision made?

Whenever possible, RRISD will make the decision by 5:30 a.m., or earlier if possible, in order to begin the notification process. First buses leave the transportation center by 5:45 a.m. and those employees leave home much earlier. Additionally, early notification allows parents to make informed travel and childcare decisions. Despite every effort to decide and notify the community early, weather can change rapidly. Sometimes notifications are later than the district would like.

Inclement Weather Protocols

If an inclement weather event is predicted or unfolding in evening hours:

  • Announce the district’s observance of inclement weather and procedures.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Make a decision, when possible, whether after school activities need to be canceled or adjusted in order to communicate prior to end of school for elementary and departures for most after school competitions and events.
  • 7:00 p.m.: Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks.
  • 8:45 p.m.: Parent/Community notification launched if temperature/precipitation model meets standard.
    • Phone calls will go out to all contacts if the district has either canceled or adjusted the school day.
    • If the district is continuing to monitor inclement weather, all contacts will be notified via a phone call to check their email and/or school district websites for an final decision in the morning.
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.

 

If threat of inclement is predicted or unfolding in early morning hours

  • 3:00 a.m. – 4 a.m. Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks. Analyze information reported in regional conference calls
  • 5:30 a.m. Parent/Community notification launched via website and email if weather had been monitored the prior evening
    • If school start time is adjusted or canceled, notification will be emailed and posted on all school websites and centrally managed social media accounts
    • If school start time is not adjusted, notification will be posted on all school websites and centrally managed social media accounts
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.

How is inclement weather during the day handled?

Students are not typically released early unless there is reason to believe it is necessary to avoid potentially unsafe situations, such as an approaching ice storm. Students will not be sent out of a safe building into bad weather, especially since many students walk or ride bicycles. We also do not want to risk sending students home unsupervised if parents or guardians are not typically home during the school day. Teachers will supervise all students until parents are able to pick them up. Campuses will not contact parents to pick up their child during the regular school day.

How is the public notified?

The news media will be notified of any changes that affect the start of school by 6:00 a.m. All major local television stations and KLBJ AM radio will be contacted. Parents and employees will be notified by phone and eNews if contact information in SchoolMessenger is up to date. Updates on school delays and closures will also be available on the district’s main phone line, at 512-464-5000, and on the district website and social media properties.