Some people have asked if weather-related decisions could be made earlier in the morning or even the previous evening to give parents more time to make day-care arrangements. While that is sometimes possible, it is not always possible. We want to try and have a normal day of school when we can. Sometimes, it is obvious that the weather will be severe and a decision the night before is warranted. Calling a 2-hour delay the night before guarantees a loss of school time. If the weather in the morning is not as severe as predicted, we would have lost the two hours when it was not necessary.
There have been times when students have been dropped off at school at regular time when there is a late start in effect. This causes problems for the school, since teachers have not yet arrived and we need to find someone to supervise the students for two hours before teachers arrive. Students are bored, since we cannot allow them in the gym or their classroom if a teacher is not present.
Area superintendents and I start talking as early as 5:00 AM when a delay might be needed. The transportation directors are out checking roads and are telling their superintendents and each other what the roads are like. A decision can normally be made by 5:30 AM. I start posting announcements on television stations through their secure login pages as soon as I have made a decision. I know that many of you subscribe to text message services from a local television station and/or Iowa School Alerts. Recently, one of the tv stations had a malfunction whereby text messages were not sent and some parents did not receive notification of the 2 hour delay in the start of school. If you want another notification service that we use, try Iowa School Alerts. The website is https://schoolalerts.iowa.gov. Notice that this is not a "www" address and is "https" and not just "http." This is a free messaging service that will send alerts to your phone and/or email whenever a message is posted. This service is also used to send occasional informational items, too. Go to the website, click "Sign Up" and follow the directions. You'll receive a text message soon after it is posted