April 12, 2022
With the forecast for stormy weather today and tomorrow (Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13), I wanted to share our decision-making process with you.
As always, our first priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff when they are in our care – including during transportation to and from school.
We use the following tools to monitor weather conditions:
National Weather Service (both Paducah and St. Louis)
If the majority of these sources indicate severe weather is likely (50% or greater probability) during the school day from 7:55 am to 2:55 pm, we will keep students safely at school where they have access to FEMA storm shelters. We hold drills throughout the year to ensure that we can move all students and staff to one of the FEMA shelters or a nearby basement in under 4 minutes. The FEMA shelters are engineered to withstand a direct hit from an EF-5 tornado.
If the majority of these sources indicate severe weather is likely (50% or greater probability) during morning transportation, we may opt to have a late start. This is for the safety of children who walk, ride bikes or ride the bus to school. Strong winds are a particular concern for school buses.
If the majority of these sources indicate severe weather is likely (50% or greater probability) during afternoon dismissal and transportation, we may opt to keep students later or to dismiss early. We use the timing provided by the sources above to make the best decision possible at that time:
If severe weather is likely after 2:30 pm but is likely to have left Perry County by 3:30 pm, we will err on the side of caution and hold students in the building until we determine it is safe to dismiss students. Parent pick-up will be delayed until that time.
If severe weather is likely to affect areas of Perry County between 2:30 and later than 3:30 pm, we will err on the side of caution to avoid having children caught outside without adult supervision and dismiss early. We will provide early dismissal information to parents using the district’s emergency alert system, and give as much notice as possible.
In the most extreme circumstances, school may be canceled.
Please also remember that all staff and students will shelter when tornado sirens are sounding, or Perry County or portions of Perry County are under a tornado warning at any time during the school day, including the normal dismissal time. No one will be dismissed until the tornado warning ends (even if this is past dismissal time), and no one will be admitted to the buildings (as all office staff will be sheltering). We will use the alert messaging system to provide periodic updates and inform parents when students will be dismissed.
The administrative team and I thank you for your understanding and cooperation during inclement weather events. It takes all of us working together to keep our district family safe.