Inclement Weather Procedures
Any time there is a concern for an inclement weather event, LISD uses the following protocol to help drive the decision-making process to alter the school day. The concern for student and staff safety always serves as the main driver when these decisions are made, and we always strive to err on the side of caution. Each weather incident is unique and will demand unique considerations.
We know that when we alter the school day, it has a significant impact on families. We also want to ensure that we are making decisions that minimize any negative impact on student learning. In other words, when there is no safety concern in getting to school, we want to make sure that our students are at school. This is the balance we constantly weigh when making school closure decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is the public notified?
A: If school is canceled due to a weather-related event, parents and staff members will be notified via multiple platforms, including:
- LISD’s parent callout system Skylert (one reason we always need up-to-date contact information in Skyward Family Access);
- LISD websites;
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For the most instantaneous notification, visit our website. Local TV stations will also be notified if a decision is made to cancel school.
Please note that the district DOES NOT send out emails or other forms of communication if there are no changes to the regular school day or after school activities.
Q: When is the decision made?
A: We try to make the decision by 5 a.m. or earlier the day of so we post the information on our website and start the automated emails and phone calls by 5:30 a.m. If we believe that the forecasts won’t change during the overnight hours, we may make the decision to alter the school day the night before. Finally, we know waiting much later in the morning limits parents’ options when they are making childcare decisions.
Q: How do we make our decision?
A: During inclement weather situations, we make decisions to open or close schools based on careful analysis of as many relevant factors as we can gather, including:
- Numerous consultations with our local emergency management agencies and the National Weather Service. In the days leading up to a possible weather incident, we monitor local forecasts, both in the evening before the incident and in the early morning hours.
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff, local public works officials and law enforcement agencies. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. Even if the street in front of your house looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous. In addition, we must consider the risk to our least experienced drivers, our high school students.
- Amount of snow or ice accumulated and projected accumulations. We also consider whether or not precipitation is continuing.
- Building conditions, such as whether there is any interruption in our buildings’ electricity and heat.
- Parking lot conditions. We try to monitor the clearing and treating of parking lots and sidewalks.
- Temperature and wind chill. Some of our students walk to and from school and some have to wait outside in the elements at their bus stop.
- Weather predictions. We prefer not making our decision solely based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate, but sometimes it is unavoidable. If this is the case, we may make the decision the evening before.
- Consideration to what area school districts are doing. While every district has its unique situations, we do stay in touch with other districts to help guide decision-making.
Q: Who makes the decision?
A: The superintendent is responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from district staff, including the safety and security department, facility services and our transportation provider.
Q: How does LISD’s automated calling system work?
A: LISD uses Skylert, which is a communication system through Skyward Family Access that calls parents’ and staff phone numbers when the district needs to relay important messages. Parents provide the phone numbers in this database when they complete/update their child(ren)’s back-to-school forms each year in Skyward Family Access. Parents and staff should receive the LISD automated phone call at the phone number indicated as primary contact (usually a home number), in addition to the other numbers listed and designated to receive phone calls.
Q: If I know bad weather is expected in our area, what should I do?
A: Because weather updates can happen rapidly and to avoid miscommunication, please check the LISD website at www.lisd.net for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Q: How do I find out if my child’s after-school activity has been canceled?
A: Please check the LISD website at www.lisd.net for the most up-to-date and accurate information.