FAQ: Cold Weather, Closures & Delays

Would you ever cancel school because of extreme temperatures?

In the 130-year history of our district, we have rarely canceled school due to temperature.

It is our job to hold school. Schools provide a warm and safe place for our students, many of whom rely on school meals. That being said, safety is our number one concern. If parents or guardians feel that their student can't be properly dressed for the walk to school or wait for the bus, they can always choose not to send their child to school and the absence will be excused.

Will outdoor recess be canceled today?

Each school building principal makes an individual decision whether or not to have outdoor recess. The decision is based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, temperature, wind chill, precipitation, and the ability of students to dress for the conditions. Experts agree that outdoor exercise benefits student learning and behavior, as long as the students are properly dressed for the conditions.

My bus is late. Can you tell me when it will arrive?

SPS has 150+ buses transporting 7,000 students across 12,500 miles every day. Current weather conditions, limited or closed roadways, and current traffic conditions all affect our routes. Our bus contractor’s goal is to meet every stop at a specific time. A 4-5 minute delay at the beginning of the route can sometimes turn into 20 minutes toward the route’s end, depending on the traffic flow. While we try to alert parents and students of significant delays, it is currently not possible to notify all parents of the status of all 150 buses at any given time.

You can, however, get the free Durham Bus Tracker app365体育平台, which allows you to view your student's current school bus location and information about the route, in near real time, including the scheduled arrival time to your home.

Why do you wait until 6 a.m. to notify us of a school closure or delay? Can't you just make the decision the night before?

State law requires 180 days of education for all students. We make every effort to hold school so that we don’t have to use makeup days. Weather can change quickly, and conditions on the south side of the district may differ from those on the north side. The superintendent makes the final judgment on school closure after consulting with transportation and safety officials in the early morning hours. If evening weather predictions indicated severe conditions or accumulations for the next morning and afternoon, there is always the possibility that a closure decision could be made sooner.

What determines if there is a two-hour delay for everyone or only a delay for buses?

365体育平台The decision of whether to have a bus delay, 2-hour delay or school closure is based on multiple factors, including weather conditions as of 4:30 a.m., the morning and afternoon forecast, how well the city has done overnight in de-icing and snow removal, and the snow and/or ice situation district-wide.

Will delayed days extend the school year? Will students have to make up that time?

No. In cases of district-wide natural events, the state (and district) will count a 2-hour delay day as a full day of instruction. The district does understand the burden that this may put on working parents and guardians with limited childcare options. We will use the 2-hour delay only if it is determined that it is the safest option for our families.

Why didn’t I didn't get the notification on my phone about the delay/closure/early release?

Please check with your school office to ensure that your contact information is up to date in our system and that you are listed to receive emergency notifications.

Is there a certain amount of snow accumulation that triggers plowing or snow-blowing?

We dispatch the plows when the predicted snowfall is expected to be over 2 inches. It takes our 11 snow plow crews from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. to plow the entire district. Our custodians shovel and blow snow when they arrive in the morning. The amount of sidewalk that needs to be cleared varies by site. Additional Maintenance staff and grounds crews are sent out to help with larger sites.

student enjoys snow