Inclement Weather Communication
January 15, 2021
Dear Holly Area Schools Families and Staff,
The winter season recently arrived and while weather has been fairly mild thus far, we know that changes can happen quickly. In a typical Michigan winter, we can experience snow, ice, and extreme wind chills.
With our return to the In-Person option, one of the questions that may come up this Winter is how the school district will handle snow days. As in the past, we will continue to make decisions regarding snow days based on ensuring the safety of all students, families, and employees during the winter months. On any given day, the roads we live or travel on might be in perfect condition, while other local roads in the district may be unsafe. Holly Area Schools comprises of 124 square miles. We are the 3rd largest district in the Tri-County Area. Because we are so large, conditions in one area of our district may be different than the conditions in another area.
A decision to close school is based on more than a weather forecast. Several factors are considered including the actual current weather and road conditions as well as the timing of possible inclement weather.
Throughout the winter season, we consistently monitor the conditions of our district’s paved roads and backroads to ensure the safety of students at bus stops as well as students and staff driving to school. We are in communication with the road commission as well as our surrounding districts. Certainly, decisions based solely on a prediction are more difficult to make, thus subject to scrutiny. Therefore, we make the best decision with the information that we have available.
We recognize that this decision may not always fit with individual circumstances. Therefore, we support parents/ guardians making the best decision for their family.
Our goal is to make a weather-related school closing decision no later than 5:45 am the morning of inclement weather. In some unique circumstances, we may make a decision earlier or even the evening prior. Still, the announcement of a snow day, the evening prior or the morning of, does not guarantee that students will have all of their resources at home in order to participate in remote classes. Therefore, families should continue to prepare for the possibility of a school cancellation as in the years past in the event of inclement weather.
Because of our new experiences with remote learning and the acquisition of new technology, we will continue to evaluate the possibility of providing remote/virtual support in the future for our students on snow days. With that said, if we have advance notice this winter of a severe weather situation that could impact us for several days, we will also look at the possibility of virtual/remote support at that time. Our school improvement teams will be researching ways to support a remote schedule on snow days in the future.
We know that students and families have lost a lot of exciting traditions this past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An “occasional” snow day should not be one of them this year.
All inclement weather school closing announcements are done by phone and email via SchoolMessenger and placed on the district website and district social media site.
We also contact the following media outlets:
- ABC 12
- NBC 25
- Fox 66
- CW 46
- Fox 2
- Local 4
- ABC 7
- WWJ AM 950 and WJR AM 760
Once again, thank you for your support. We will continue to keep safety the priority for our over 3,200 students and hundreds of staff members that are part of the Holly Area Schools family.
Scott M. Roper