It looks like last winter spoiled us with mild temperatures and little snow. From today’s temperatures (1/2/2018) and the upcoming forecast, those spoils are over. It is time to embrace the Ohio winter that is upon us. Let me start by saying, student safety is ALWAYS our priority when making decisions about winter weather. Staff safety, building operations, and the proper functioning of equipment (i.e buses and heating) are also critical factors to consider when considering a delay or cancellation of school or a school sponsored event.
Mechanicsburg collaborates with transportation, maintenance, and area school districts when considering a delay or cancellation. Mechanicsburg is lucky enough to have close working relationships with Transportation Directors and other Administrators from Champaign, Clark, Union, and Madison Counties. These relationships allow us to reach out and discuss conditions across the county that may impact our ability to safely transport students to and from school. The more information we have, the more confident we can be in our decisions, especially when those decisions involve the safety of students.
The roads are assessed daily when bad weather threatens, both the night before and the morning of school. It is our goal to delay or cancel school before the first bus route departs for the high school, but as conditions change, that timing is not always possible. We also work closely with the village and county to monitor road condition levels. School will not operate while the county is under a level 2 snow condition.
Delays for temperature present another challenge during the winter months. The district considers actual temperature, wind speed, and total time outside before developing frostbite in determining delays and closures. Because of the number of student riders and those transported by parents, we are fortunate that the majority of our kids do not walk to school. Our buses wait a little longer for students at each stop during extremely cold weather. Students that arrive to school early are brought into the building to ensure their safety. For these reasons, we think it is better to continue instruction for students and provide a warm, safe environment including breakfast and lunch for our students when this can be safely accomplished.
In preparation for the upcoming weather, be sure your children have coats, long pants, closed toe shoes, socks, hats, mittens and scarfs. We have a list of area organizations willing to donate coats, hats, and gloves if needed. We will also have a supply of hats and mittens to pass out as we see students that may be in need.
Beyond the school day, coaches and the Athletic Director will update parents using One Call Now and other social media outlets about the status of practices and games. Practices and games may go on as scheduled if conditions improve throughout the day.
I appreciate the care and concern that both our staff and community show in an effort to make student well-being a priority. If you have questions about this message, please feel free to email or call me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-834-2453 Ext. 1400.
I wish all of you a wonderful 2018 Winter season!
Danielle Prohaska, Superintendent
Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools