When Should School Close for Weather? – Teacher Perspective

When Should School Close for Weather? - Teacher Perspective

Anthony Tantillo, Assistant Principal of BCECHS

What should happen with schools if there is bad weather in the forecast? There’s no doubt about it that a school district should close their schools if the weather is bad. 

I know school districts like to give as much of a notice as possible, but making this call the day/night before is way too soon. There have been too many situations (up north and down south) where a blizzard or hurricane is in the forecast and schools close before anything occurs.  Then when the time comes for the weather to do its thing nothing happens and a perfectly good school day is wasted.  

In NY there was a time when a blizzard was in the forecast. We were told before the school day ended that there wouldn’t be school the following day. When the next day came around there was no blizzard. If they would have waited to make the call about closing school then an instructional day wouldn’t have been lost.  

It would be great to have someone assigned to watching the weather and making a decision sometime between the hours of 1 AM and 5 AM. If a decision cannot be made, a 1, 2 or 3 hour delay can be used to let some time go by to assess the situation.  

Some people feel that a decision needs to be made ASAP since parents need to make plans. The timeliness of a decision shouldn’t trump safety and school. If a decision really needs to be made sooner than later, it is better to be safe than sorry and close. In this type of situation remote learning should be utilized to make the day away from school (if the weather ends up being safe) as educationally productive as possible.