Emergency School Closings and Delays

Student safety is a primary goal of the Michigan City Area Schools. At all times, weather conditions are monitored to ensure that students can be safely delivered to schools and returned home. Parents are strongly encouraged to make arrangements for the welfare of their children due to school closings or delays and ensue that their children are appropriately dressed for weather conditions.

General Procedures:

Weather and road conditions are monitored by the Director of Transportation on a daily basis. During the winter months, the Director of Transportation, along with assistance from the Plant Planning Department, begins to monitor road conditions at 4:00-4:30 a.m. The Director of Transportation is also in contact with surrounding school corporations, local and state police, and other community agencies. Between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., the Director of Transportation will make a recommendation to the Superintendent to close or delay schools.

When weather conditions, such as severe cold or heavy snow, can be predicted before 4:30 a.m., the Director of Transportation will recommend closing or a delay of start the night before. Once the recommendation to close is accepted by the Superintendent, the media is notified no later than 5:30 a.m. (except in extreme conditions) and parents are informed via the news media and the Internet.

School closing and delay information is available on the MCAS website (EducateMC.net) or by calling the MCAS Delay and Cancellation Information Line at (219) 873-2000 (press option "2").

In addition, families may register for text alerts; these alerts are managed by Fox28 in South Bend.
 
In the event of a delay or closing, the following media will be notified:

Radio: WEFM (95.9); WCOE (96.7 FM); WIMS (AM1420); WLOI (1540 AM); WAKE (1500 AM)

Television: FOX28 - Channel 28; WNDU - Channel 16; WSBT - Channel 22

Other: Emergency Closing Center - www.emergencyclosings.com (You may register for email and text alerts at this site, also.)

Parents are encouraged to stay tuned to local media, particularly in the case of a school delay. On rare occasions a decision may be made to move from a delay status to a closed status. If school is closed for the entire day, after school activities, Adult Basic Education courses and Safe Harbor and Boys and Girls Club are all canceled. High School athletic activities are considered on an individual basis.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Decisions to close or delay school due to hazardous road conditions are determined by the Director of Transportation and the Superintendent of Schools based on the ability to successfully navigate buses both within the city limits and the county areas. Weather conditions across the district can vary greatly due to the potential of lake effect snow. The conditions of the parking lots and the temperature and wind chill factor as well as the safety of children who walk to school are considered.

Wind Chill

As a general rule, a wind chill factor of -19 degrees will be the determining factor as to whether to close or delay school. Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in a relatively short time for children out in extreme temperatures. Parents are encouraged to ensure that students are appropriately dressed for these conditions while waiting at the bus stop or walking to and from school. Decisions to close or delay school will take into consideration the current conditions as well as the duration of the wind chill factor predictions.

Fog

As in the case of hazardous road conditions, fog conditions can vary greatly across the district. Consideration to delay the start of school for fog conditions will be determined by 5:00 a.m.

Tornado Warnings

Our bus drivers are trained to know how and where to seek safety for children in the event of a tornado.Drivers also are instructed by the the Transportation Department, which will be monitoring weather alert warnings. Individual buses or the fleet may be ordered back to the school(s) to unload students at the buildings or to the nearest school site to safely unload students.

One- and Two-Hour Delay Schedule

If the notice is given that school will be delayed one hour, elementary schools will start at 9:45 a.m. (doors open at 9:25 a.m.). Buses will arrive at the designated stop one hour later than on a normal school day.

If the notice is given that school will be delayed two hours, elementary schools will start at 10:45 a.m. (doors open at 10:25 a.m.)There is no AM Pre-K on a two-hour delay.Buses arrive at the designated bus stop two hours later than on a normal school day. There is no breakfast served on a two-hour delay schedule.

If the notice is given that school will be delayed one hour, middle and high schools will start at 8:25 a.m. (doors open at 8:15 a.m.). Buses will arrive at the designated stop one hour later than on a normal school day.

If the notice is given that school will be delayed two hours, middle and high schools will start at 9:25 a.m. (doors open at 9:15 a.m.) Buses arrive at the designated bus stop two hours later than on a normal school day. There is no breakfast served on a two-hour delay schedule.

Please note that a one- or two-hour delay can change to a cancellation of school if weather conditions warrant.


Early Dismissal Due to Weather Conditions

On rare occasions, weather conditions may necessitate closing school early. The same media will be contacted in the event that this is necessary, and parents should have child-care arrangements in place should this occur. On these rare occasions, usually all secondary schools will be dismissed first and then elementary schools will be dismissed approximately one hour later.

Outdoor Activity
 
When the wind chill factor is below -10 degrees, children will not go outside for recess. As a general rule, the decision to hold recess rests at the building level.