During winter in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad, we’re often in an awkward position: It snowed at some point in recent days, but it looks like even though the main roads are cleared, public schools remain closed. Parents—many of whom have taken time off work to stay home with school-aged children—are saying, “Why is my kid’s school closed AGAIN today?” (I guess that’s the price we have to pay for getting to enjoy four actual seasons each year!)
The short and best answer is: safety. Your road may be clear, or passable in your AWD vehicle, but other children may live in areas that are still not safe to drive on. Bus drivers have to have special training and skills to drive those big yellow school buses in icy or snowy conditions—their first priority is keeping children safe, and buses are not easy to drive on the best-weather day.
Guilford County Schools’ Inclement Weather Policy
The Guilford County Schools’ Inclement Weather Policy says that the district’s Director of Transportation is responsible for recommending whether to cancel or delay school or release students early when inclement weather is predicted. The Director and a team of 15 Transportation Supervisors are assigned to various areas across the county to check roads and weather conditions. In addition to in-person assessments, the Director evaluates radar images, consults with the local branch of the National Weather Service, and then makes a decision about school opening, delay, or closing.
Typically, road conditions are evaluated by 4:30 p.m. and then again before 5 a.m., and the open/delay/close decision is made in time to be reported on the evening and/or morning news.
School Is Cancelled: Now What?
North Carolina law gives specific guidelines for all school districts – for example, schools may start no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11. A calendar committee at Guilford County Schools creates three traditional school calendar options for public comment – parents, students, staff, and the community may comment on the options. Part of the final calendar is built-in makeup days – for the 2016-17 school year, there are eight potential makeup days built in to the calendar. In many cases, those days line up with days that are already established teacher workdays.
So, for this school year (2016-17), so far we’ve missed three school days due to snow—January 9, 19, and 11—and those will be made up on January 25, March 31, and June 12.
Wait a minute: Isn’t the last day of school supposed to be June 9, 2017?
Yes! But don’t make your family’s plans for a beach trip the week following…frequently, in Guilford County, inclement weather days get made up that week, and it looks like this year is going to be no exception: January 12 is a makeup day the Monday after the scheduled last day of school. If we have any more snowy or icy days this February or early March—and it’s been known to happen—the next makeup days on the calendar would be June 13, 14, 15, and 16.
Our best advice:
- Don’t schedule a family vacation the week right after the last day of school.
- Check the Guilford County Schools website (gcsnc.com) for info about any delays or closures. Many schools have Facebook pages that are updated with this information, and the news reports are typically updated both online and on TV, too.
- Don’t get impatient with school closures and/or delays. They can be frustrating for working parents, but please keep in mind that the rules are to ensure children’s safety.
In all kinds of weather, the Vincent Group at GreatNest is a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas. We will save you money in buying or selling a home by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Our experienced real estate professionals are ready to answer your questions or get started looking for the property that suits your taste and budget. Call us at (336) 790-5210, email Steve Vincent, and visit our website at greatnest.com for more information.