CMS Procedures for Severe Weather
The safety of all students and staff is the first priority of the school system when decisions are made about whether schools must be closed, delayed or dismissed early because of severe weather. Severe weather includes tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms, ice storms and other extreme natural events that pose an imminent threat to the safety of students and staff.
All school personnel are familiar with severe-weather procedures. Principals/supervisors are responsible for informing their staff, including new hires throughout the year, about these procedures and ensuring they are followed. An overview can be found on the employee calendar, on the CMS Web site and on the CMS intranet. Each school will issue a Connect-Ed message or initiate a staff telephone tree as an additional communication tool for severe-weather information. When early dismissal occurs, parents must be informed quickly. The best and quickest way to notify parents is with Connect-Ed.
Severe Weather Communication
The CMS Communications Department will notify staff and the public when severe weather requires that schools close or open with a two-hour delay. No notification means schools are open. On days with closings or delays, information will be shared by 5:30 a.m. If an early dismissal is required because of severe weather, the information will be available by 1 p.m. Severe-weather changes will be posted on the CMS Web site, intranet, district social media sites, the CMS app and shared with local media (newspapers, TV and radio stations). The Communications staff will also send voice and text messages using Connect-Ed, post the information on the CMS Facebook and Twitter pages and notify CharMeck 311.
When schools open two hours late because of severe weather, the start of school is delayed but the ending bell time does not change. All employees other than bus drivers will report to work at the usual time (unless a notification is issued). Principals will develop a modified bell schedule to accommodate the late start and will collaborate with the cafeteria manager on a lunch schedule that allows all students to eat.
If school is dismissed early, public notification will occur by 1 p.m. All buses will follow their regular afternoon routes unless otherwise notified. All students will be delivered to their regularly assigned afternoon bus stops, except ASEP students, whose parents will pick them up at their home schools.
After-School Enrichment Program Staff
If school is closed because of severe weather, the After-School Enrichment Program will be canceled. During early dismissals, ASEP staff and principals will collaborate to notify parents to pick up children at their home school, not the ASEP location. On a regular school day, if weather conditions become hazardous while students are in ASEP, parents will be encouraged to pick up their children as soon as possible. In this case, programs will remain open until 6 p.m. or until th elast child is picked up.