Inclement Weather School Closing Protocol

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    As winter approaches with the potential for inclement weather, this is to inform families and staff members about the protocols for determining if conditions warrant closing schools.

    The Ann Arbor Public School District (AAPS) will determine if conditions present a safety hazard for our students and staff by working with the Durham School Services (DSS) Transportation Department and in consultation with the Ann Arbor Police Department (AAPD), Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Washtenaw County Road Commission, as well as the other Washtenaw County Superintendents.


    Closing Protocol for Early Morning Notification

    1. When the weather forecast calls for potentially hazardous conditions due to inclement weather, the DSS Transportation Department, along with AAPS Executive Director of Physical Properties, will begin monitoring conditions starting late in the evening/early morning hours.
      • DSS Transportation Supervisors drive a variety of roads across the district
      • AAPS monitors conditions at the schools
      • Sheriff and AAPD are consulted regarding road conditions
      • City and County Road Departments are consulted regarding road conditions and timing of the road clearing schedule
    1. County Superintendents conduct a conference call after Transportation reports their recommendation for closing schools based on conditions of roads and schools drives/sidewalks and weather forecast
    1. AAPS Superintendent confirms decision to close or open school – Decision to close should be confirmed no later than 4:30 a.m. and communicated to appropriate staff:
      • Superintendent contacts Executive Director of Physical Properties and the Communications team.
        1. Physical Properties begins their plan for clearing school property based on weather conditions
        2. Communications team contacts:
          • Media
          • Email AAPS Staff through District Announce
          • Post Notification on AAPS Website, AAPS News, Facebook and Twitter
          • Hotline message recorded
          • Staff receives Schoolmessenger phone and email message
          • Notification to AAPS Families via Schoolmessenger made no later than 6:00 am. If your contact information has changed, please notify your school’s office professional.
    1. Balas Administration Staff Protocol on Snow Days – In cases of mission critical assignments, Balas staff will be notified by their supervisor regarding their ability to report to work on the snow day.

    Closing Protocol During the School Day

    1. If inclement weather begins during the school day, conditions are assessed regarding weather predictions before school is released for the day.
    2. A decision to release school early must consider the ability for parents to pick up students in a safe manner and to ensure that all parents are notified of the early closing.
    3. Schoolmessenger phone calls and emails are sent to families with instructions as to the school closing protocol to include:
      • Anticipated busing schedule
      • Notification to Elementary school if no one is at home to receive the student
      • Parents of students who normally take the bus are given the option to pick up their student instead of using the school bus for transportation home.
      • High schools students will be released first, then middle school students followed by elementary students
      • Students unable to be picked up will be kept at the school under adult supervision until a parent arrives
      • Depending on the conditions, student walkers may not be released to walk home unless parents are notified first to give permission
      • Teaching staff is released to leave after students have left the school
      • Principal must stay until all students reach home safely and no students are at school

    It is the expectation that every employee will be responsible to monitor for the Schoolmessenger call and email as well as the media postings to ensure they are aware of a school closing announcement. 


    State of Michigan “Snow Day” Provision

    The State of Michigan allows for 30-hours of school instructional time to be waived due to inclement weather or “Act of God Days”. That equals about 6 school days that the district can be closed without having to make up the time. If AAPS exceeds the 30-hours of loss of instruction, the district will be required to make up the instructional time lost.


    School Closing Information Snow Days

    School closings (outside of regularly scheduled days off) will be posted on our home page.

    Staff and AAPS families will be notified via a phone call and email by 6:00 am if school is closed for the day. You can also find this information at:

    • AAPS Hotline – 734-994-8684
    • A2schools.org
    • All Detroit radio and televisions stations
    • WUOM, WEMU, WQKL, WWWW, WTKA, WLBY and MLive/Ann Arbor News

    Unsafe Weather Guidelines

    On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below 0ºF: Students will not have recess outside

    On days when the temperature and/or wind chill are below -20ºF (20 below zero) schools will be closed.

    The National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Warning when wind chills are -25 or colder

    The National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Advisory when wind chills are -15 or colder.