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Inclement Weather Guidelines
TO:               All Employees

FROM:          Verletta B. White                                  

SUBJECT:      Inclement Weather Guidelines

DATE:           December 2020

To adequately prepare for inclement weather days in our school district, I’ve asked a number of stakeholders to collaborate on our inclement weather protocols to ensure the prioritization of student and staff safety, as well as quality instruction.  I would like to thank the numerous team members from across the District who participated in this process. 

The following inclement weather guidelines are in effect for all Roanoke City Public Schools’ (RCPS) employees for the 2020-21 school year:

v  Weather Announcements.  Announcements will be posted as follows:

o   Division Website (www.rcps.info),

o   Facebook (www.facebook.com/RoanokeCityPublicSchools),

o   Twitter (@RoanokeSchools)

o   and on the inclement weather hotline at 853-2006.

As always, you may tune in to your local radio and television stations for the announcement. 

v  School Closings. 

If schools are closed due to inclement weather conditions, an announcement will be made; school-based employees and all building administrators do not report for work to permit crews to clear the walkways and parking lots. All building administrators are on call when schools are closed.

Every effort will be made to make the announcement by 5:30 a.m.  Employees in Maintenance and Building Operations must report to work and arrive as soon as possible, pending safe travel conditions.  Central Office staff must report for work and arrive as soon as possible, pending safe travel conditions or unless otherwise instructed.  Employees unable to report to work must notify their supervisor.

Important Notes: If schools are closed due to inclement weather conditions for more than three (3) consecutive days, an announcement will be made that “Roanoke City Public Schools will conduct an asynchronous instruction day.” The day is counted as a learning day by ensuring that students have access to the curriculum and every student has access to their work.

If the cumulative number of inclement weather days exceeds six (6), an announcement will be made that, “Roanoke City Public Schools will conduct asynchronous instruction for subsequent inclement weather days.”   

Principals are responsible for ensuring student access to the curriculum.  If there is a power outage or other extenuating circumstances for a family, the principal will work to make additional accommodations for students to access instruction or make up the instruction. Employees are asked to plan for inclement weather and be prepared to work from home, unless otherwise directed, when there is a threat for inclement weather.  It is imperative to support the continuity of instruction in the event of an extended closure. All teachers and related service staff should create five class or instructional periods of supplemental Canvas lessons to promote student learning. 

The Administration reserves the right to have teachers work with students after school in preparation for standardized tests when there has been an excessive number of closings due to inclement weather.

v  Delayed Openings.  If a decision is made to open schools late, the announcement will be made by 5:30 a.m.  Again, tune to your local radio and television stations and be alert to changing weather conditions that may require a closing announcement after 5:30 a.m. If a decision is made to delay opening because of inclement weather, school employees are to report to work two hours after their normally scheduled time. Only those employees who are required to maintain essential or emergency services (including Central Office staff) will report to work on time and/or arrive as soon as possible depending on safe travel conditions.

Important note: Principals are responsible for planning minimal coverage to receive children who may be dropped off early by their parents/guardians.

v  Early Closings.  If a decision is made to close schools early because of inclement weather, all school-based personnel may leave 30 minutes after students depart. All principals are to wait until they receive the “All Clear” from the Director of Transportation before they leave the building.

Announcement of an early closing will be made to schools by the Superintendent or designee, and to the media by the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing. Twelve-month employees in maintenance and building operations and non-school-based personnel should remain at their work site for the normal workday unless specific instructions are provided from the Superintendent or designee concerning an earlier dismissal time.