School Closure/Delay Decision Process
The decision to delay or cancel school due to winter weather is based on a number of factors, including temperatures and road conditions both at the time school starts as well as throughout the school day. Our goal is to announce a closure or delay as soon as we can, so we are constantly monitoring weather forecasts and will make an announcement the night before whenever possible.
When weather conditions are such that we are unable to make a determination the night before, the process resumes around 4 a.m. the next morning when the superintendent and a team of school district employees assess the conditions by reviewing temperatures and wind chills, as well as driving in assigned areas throughout the district. After evaluating the weather and road safety, the team meets to discuss the conditions, along with reports from other area schools and any law enforcement officials they have contacted. The superintendent reviews all of the reports and generally makes the decision to close or delay school between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m.
In regards to temperatures, we will consider canceling school for the day if the local temperature is lower than -15 (Fahrenheit) degrees with the wind chill included. Please understand there are many sources reporting on temperatures and wind chills. We continually monitor a number of these sources to best determine the current conditions as well as what the conditions are likely to be throughout the day.
Keep in mind, two-hour delays interrupt our normal bus schedules, causing our buses to travel in different traffic patterns, which may delay their arrival. This has the potential to make matters worse by exposing students to cold weather longer as they wait for their bus. For this reason, any decision to delay will be based on the likelihood that it will not make safety concerns worse.
When school is delayed or canceled, we work quickly to inform the community using a variety of communication methods. A phone message is sent out using Olentangy’s rapid calling system. We also immediately notify local radio and television stations and post a message on the district’s website, Twitter feed (@OlentangySD), Superintendent Twitter feed (@SuperOLSD) and the District's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/olentangylocalschools). In addition, we will send the announcement out as an email, text and, for those who have the District’s mobile app, a push notification. Because other sources of information, such as social media posts, may not be accurate, we recommend you always check the above referenced District sources to confirm that school has been canceled or delayed.
As a reminder, parents should ensure that their PowerSchool account information is accurate as our communication system is based on the contact information in PowerSchool.
Finally, please remember that the Olentangy Local School District covers 95 square miles of diverse terrain. This means that, at times, inclement weather conditions that appear in one portion of the District may not be as severe in another, but may warrant a delay or closing of school for overall safety reasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many calamity days can OLSD take before the District is required to schedule make-up days?
- How is the decision to dismiss early made?
- How should parents prepare for possible severe weather or other emergency situations that could result in a delay or closing?
- How will parents be notified about a cancellation, delay or early release of school
- If the start of school is delayed, can I drop my child off at school at the normal starting time
- Does a delay impact lunch service or dismissal times?
- What about morning preschool students?
- What about bus service for non-public schools and morning vocational programs?
- If school is canceled for the day, will after-school activities be held?
- Will district offices and school buildings be open when school is cancelled or released early?