Weather Decision Guidelines
The following guidelines are used by the NPUSC Superintendent and Transportation Director regarding daily decisions to attend school at regular time, on two hour delay, or to cancel school. A team of local volunteers from all areas of the school district report to the Superintendent and Transportation Director on weather/road conditions to assist in the weather decision process.
Any weather decision will be made by 5:15 am central time (school time) due to the number of buses NPUSC uses, with the first bus leaving daily at 5:15 am CST (NPUSC is one of the five largest school districts in Indiana by land area).
The team strives to make their final determination by 5:00-5:15 a.m. Team members rise early to contact sources and travel roads before reporting their findings. Once a determination is made, communication of any delay or cancellation begins via automated phone messaging, texts, website postings, and media contacts. While there are no easy or black and white rules to follow when making decisions regarding delays and cancellations, the following guidelines are considered:
- Snow Accumulations/Predictions-Anything over 5-6 inches of snow is of concern or less if ice is involved; The timing of when snow is predicted to fall informs school start/end times and decisions on delays, cancellations, or early dismissals.
- Road Conditions & Snow Plow Progress Reports of both town or county roads and NPUSC parking lots.
- Conditions effecting visibility (either snowfall or fog) – anything less than one-half mile (0.5 mile) of visibility creates concern in the decision process. Any area Dense Fog Advisory in combination with one-half mile or less of visibility is cause for concern.
- Temperature- minus 10 degrees actual or wind chill is cause for concern for delay consideration.
- Feasibility of starting buses in cold or inclement weather.
- Wind speed affecting snow drifts or driver safety with icy road conditions.
NPUSC Philosophy-if any area of NPUSC has weather conditions warranting delay or cancellation, all NPUSC schools are treated the same and all NPUSC schools will be delayed or cancelled. Given the land area of NPUSC within two counties, a situation with one area of NPUSC having conditions warranting a delay and another area having better conditions is possible.
Visibility and road conditions are important when making decisions on snow delays or cancellations. Predicting when snow will start or stop is challenging and conditions vary within our own school district. Our team is committed to erring on the side of caution while also balancing the reality that severe weather conditions are likely during our winters..
In the event that you are uncomfortable sending your student to school because of weather conditions, you can keep your student at home until such time that you believe the conditions are favorable for safe travel.
We hope this information helps clarify the guidelines NPUSC considers when making weather decisions.