How do we make decisions about schedule changes when extreme weather situations occur?

Posted by Christi Whiteside on 12/14/2018 1:00:00 PM

First, please know that our priority is always the safety of our staff and students. We watch weather forecasts from multiple sources to best understand the weather situation before, during, and after the event. We look to our local leaders and official weather statements for guidance as well.

Whether the impending storm is snow, hurricane, tornado, etc. we try to plan ahead as much as possible and prepare our campus for the wind or precipitation to come. Loose items are brought inside, canopies are removed, doors are sandbagged, shovels and ice melt are gathered, snow plows are reserved, and more.

After the storm, staff members are asked to report the conditions in their neighborhoods. This serves a few purposes. Our teachers live in Durham, Apex, downtown Raleigh, Rolesville, and everywhere in between. They are representative of where our families live and what conditions they might be facing. These staff reports give us a personal view of road conditions across the area. They also gives us an idea of which staff members will be able to safely attend school under their conditions. If the majority of teachers can’t safely make it to school, we must close.

Next, we consider the condition of our campus. Were we able to get snow plowed? Did standing water freeze or flood? Do we have power? Is the campus safe for driving and walking? Someone from the office staff will visit campus and report their findings.

The impacts of a schedule change to school calendar and events must also be determined. Will the change impact a school performance or field trip? Cafe Days? Sports? YMCA? Before care? All impacts must be determined and families, staff, volunteers, and vendors must be notified.

Finally, we spend some nervous time and often a sleepless night hoping we’ve made the best decision for our community. We know that schedule changes are difficult for working families and for our teachers’ plans. We don’t take such changes lightly and respect each family’s decision about when they can safely return to school.

Thank you for your patience and support as we move through the weather yet to come!

Christi Whiteside

Director, Endeavor Charter School