WARSAW — With the recent implementation of late-start PLC Thursdays, Warsaw Community Schools would like to remind parents and guardians on the guidelines surrounding delays and cancellations during both normal and PLC schedule days.
On a normally scheduled school day, it will be announced no later than 5:45 a.m. if WCS will delay and/or close school. During a PLC schedule day, it will be announced no later than 6:30 a.m. if WCS is delaying and/or closing. Following the announcement of a delay, it will be announced no later than 7:45 a.m. if schools will be closing.
Parents are reminded that in the event of a 2-hour delay on a PLC schedule day, school will follow a normal delay schedule. Should school be delayed or closed on a PLC day, the PLC schedule will not be transferred to another day.
Parents are encouraged to follow the district’s Twitter account, @WCS_district or visit the corporation website, www.warsaw.k12.in.us, for the most immediate communication on delays and/or cancellations. Automated phone and text messages through PowerSchool contracts are sent within 15 minutes of a delay and/or cancellation.
Delaying or Closing School is Based on Multiple Variables:
The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and fast occurring. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision will generally be make in the morning.
Snowfall is more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2-inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because of the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicated a need for action. Such as decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.
Extreme Snowfall Situations
When snow has accumulated to a significant level, or is at such a level with more snowfall predicted, then the decision regarding school may be made the previous evening. A significant level is one in which local authorities have indicated it is unlikely streets will be passable by the following morning.
Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. WCS uses the hourly temperature predictions from its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). In addition, WCS uses the Wind Chill Chart from NOAA and the National Weather Service showing when frostbite becomes a concern if bare skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for varying amounts of time. If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below with calm wind (the starting point for severe wind chill concern) at 6:00 a.m. the school will consider a two-hour delay for the start of school. If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 or below at 8:00 a.m. with calm wind, the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, including the evening before.
Extreme Wind Chills
Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observation and predictions are based on upon the open conditions. These conditions can vary from the actual weather within the Warsaw Community Schools district. Local observations of wind speed will affect the decision regarding delaying or closing school. Using the Wind Chill Chart, severe wind chill concerns or frostbite emerge at a predicted wind chill temperature at or near -20 degrees for 30 minutes. If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be at or near -20 degrees or below and if local conditions are predicted to mirror predicted wind chill temperatures at 8:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be make in the morning unless the predictions indicate extreme conditions past the threshold of frostbite.