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Inclement Weather Protocols

Weather in Central Texas can be unpredictable and bring conditions that may impact our community and subsequently bring changes to the instructional day at Round Rock ISD campuses.

As inclement weather is predicated and approaches, the District will follow its Inclement Weather Protocols to determine if an adjustment to the instructional day is necessary to ensure student, staff and community safety.

How is the Decision Made?
The decision to postpone or cancel classes due to inclement weather is based on analysis of all available information at the time the critical decision to delay or close schools must be made.
Information Analysis

The information and sources considered include:

  • Consultations with local emergency management, law enforcement, and weather experts. In addition to monitoring local weather forecasts, Round Rock ISD participates in ongoing Williamson and Travis County emergency management conference calls. Calls are scheduled by county officials any time weather threatens the central Texas region. Because the district is split between multiple municipalities, Round Rock ISD monitors all such expert reporting.
  • Information on road and sidewalk conditions from transportation operations staff. Round Rock ISD is 110 square miles consisting of varying terrain and road conditions. The transportation staff serves as the internal experts on area roads. Eyewitness reports from staff provide an invaluable addition to regional emergency management reports.
  • Weather related disruption to facilities. Round Rock ISD must evaluate any disruption to facilities that might prove hazardous, such as electrical, heat and water services.
  • Current and projected weather conditions. Because students and staff walk, bike and ride in cars to school beginning as early as 5 a.m., Round Rock ISD evaluates current and predicted weather conditions after consulting with regional experts. Reports of accumulated, projected and clearing of road hazards are taken into consideration in the early morning hours.
  • Consideration of neighboring school district and university decisions.Round Rock ISD collaborates with area districts to gain a better understanding of how the entire region is affected by inclement weather conditions. While each district is unique, this partnership allows all districts to have a more complete understanding of weather conditions.
Who Makes the Decision?
A team of district leadership gathers information and makes recommendations from the information and sources above. Ultimately, the Superintendent, or a Chief in the Superintendent’s absence, decides whether or not to modify the regular school schedule.
When is the Decision Made?
Whenever possible, Round Rock ISD will make the decision by 5:30 a.m., or earlier if possible, in order to begin the notification process. The first buses leave the transportation center by 5:45 a.m. and those employees leave home much earlier. Additionally, early notification allows parents to make informed travel and childcare decisions. Despite every effort to decide and notify the community early, weather can change rapidly. Sometimes notifications are later than what the district would like.
Timeline

If an inclement weather event is predicted or unfolding in evening hours:

  • Announce the district’s observance of inclement weather and procedures.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Make a decision, when possible, whether after school activities need to be canceled or adjusted in order to communicate prior to end of school for elementary and departures for most after school competitions and events.
  • 7:00 p.m.: Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks.
  • 8:45 p.m.: Parent/Community notification launched if temperature/precipitation model meets standard.
    • Phone calls will go out to all contacts if the district has either canceled or adjusted the school day.
    • If the district is continuing to monitor inclement weather, all contacts will be notified via a phone call to check their email and/or school district websites for an final decision in the morning.
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.

If threat of inclement is predicted or unfolding in early morning hours

  • 3:00 a.m. – 4 a.m. Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks. Analyze information reported in regional conference calls
  • 5:30 a.m. Parent/Community notification launched via website and email if weather had been monitored the prior evening
    • If school start time is adjusted or canceled, notification will be emailed and posted on all school websites and centrally managed social media accounts
    • If school start time is not adjusted, notification will be posted on all school websites and centrally managed social media accounts
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.
How is Inclement Weather During the Day Handled?
Students are not typically released early unless there is reason to believe it is necessary to avoid potentially unsafe situations, such as an approaching ice storm. Students will not be sent out of a safe building into bad weather, especially since many students walk or ride bicycles. We also do not want to risk sending students home unsupervised if parents or guardians are not typically home during the school day. Teachers will supervise all students until parents are able to pick them up. Campuses will not contact parents to pick up their child during the regular school day.
How is the Public Notified?

If there is a cancelation or delay, parents will be notified by phone and email if their contact information is up to date. If you do not receive a call or email with delay or cancellation information, classes will go on as scheduled.

  • If school is canceled or the start of the school day is delayed:
    • Every parent, staff, and community member registered to receive email messages from the District will receive an email from the District the night before or by 6:15 a.m. that morning.
    • Parents and staff members will receive a phone message notifying them the night before or starting as early as 5:45 a.m. on the day of. The call will come from 1-855-463-8097.
  • Updates on school closures will also be posted on the District website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
  • The news media will be notified of school closures by 6 a.m.

For parents or guardians who wish to update or check their contact information, they may do so by contacting the Registrar’s office at their student’s campus.

Timeline

If an inclement weather event is predicted or unfolding in evening hours:

  • Announce the district’s observance of inclement weather and procedures.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Make a decision, when possible, whether after school activities need to be canceled or adjusted in order to communicate prior to end of school for elementary and departures for most after school competitions and events.
  • 7:00 p.m.: Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks.
  • 8:45 p.m.: Parent/Community notification launched if temperature/precipitation model meets standard.
    • Phone calls will go out to all contacts if the district has either canceled or adjusted the school day.
    • If the district is continuing to monitor inclement weather, all contacts will be notified via an email and reminded that if you do not receive a call or email with delay or cancellation information, classes will go on as scheduled.
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.

If threat of inclement weather is predicted or unfolding in early morning hours

  • 3:00 a.m. – 4 a.m. Monitor temperature and precipitation levels to project threat to roads, driveways and sidewalks. Analyze information reported in regional conference calls
  • 5:30 a.m. – 6:15 a.m. Parent/Community notification via a District phone call and email will be sent if  the school day is adjusted or canceled. If you do not receive a call or email with delay or cancellation information, classes will go on as scheduled.
    • If changes occur, updates on delays or school closures will also be posted on the District website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
    • At or below 32º and any chance of reported precipitation may result in a 2-hour delay.
How does it impact the academic calendar?

If a delay or cancelation of an instructional day is taken, the District will also review its academic calendar to determine impact on required instructional minutes. The 2018 – 2019 and 2019 – 2020 academic calendars have two bad weather days built into the calendars through banked instructional minutes. If a third or fourth day is needed, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) allows for a district to apply for a waiver. With banked days and the waiver taken into account, no designation of bad weather days is expected to be needed.

More information on the academic calendar can be found on the District’s news webpage.