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Weather-Related Decisions for WBCSD

Dear Parents/Guardians:
As you know, the inclement weather season is here.  Please prepare by noting the following West Branch Community School District inclement weather practices. When snow, ice, or cold causes hazardous road and travel conditions, our schools may open late, end early, or even close for the entire day. Decisions are made based on regional and local conditions and updated weather forecasts to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and residents.  As you know, we go to school on very cold days.
As superintendent, I consult multiple weather stations, converse with regional superintendents, communicate with regional and local road crews and our transportation director and utilize the National Weather Service’s approved wind chill charts when making weather-related decisions. The safety of our students and staff is always the top priority. Please know that I attempt to reach a decision as early as possible amid changing conditions, and strive to get the word out between 5:00 a.m. and 5:45 a.m.  There are times when I can make the decision the night before, but only if the evidence indicates the situation and decision would not change.
Once a decision is made, we attempt to communicate in multiple ways:

  • District: All Call / Email System        
  • TV: KCRG, KWQC, KGAN, KWWL
  • Radio: KCRG, KCCK, KHAW, KDAT, KRNA, KZIA, KGYM, KCJJ

Additional Weather / Emergency Information
Building Access: The WBCSD’s buildings are closed to the public when a school day has been cancelled. When a “late start” is required, all morning (before school) activities are cancelled; including weight room, fine arts activities and morning preschool classes.

Student Attendance on Weather Impacted Days: Upon careful consideration for the facts and input from the sources above, please know that our schools may open when you consider local roads unsafe for travel.  If that happens, you have the option of not sending your student/s to school. Students will receive an excused absence. They will not be penalized academically, but are expected to make up all assignments. Please also understand that even in some very cold situations, middle school students will be going outside to meet breakfast, lunch, P.E. and music needs.

Emergency Closures Requires Planning with Your Students: Occasionally, late starts are used to allow traffic to clear or hazardous road conditions to improve before schools can open. When bad weather hits or worsens after school starts, it may be necessary to close schools early. Please prepare for unexpected early closing by updating school files with the names of those authorized to meet your child when you cannot. Preschool and kindergarten students will be returned to the school if no designated individual meets them at the bus stop. Please have a plan so elementary students know what to do if they arrive home before anyone is there to meet them. Middle and high school students also need plans to ensure their safety.

Extra-Curricular Events and Practices: Upon consultation with the District’s Activities Director, school events may be cancelled or delayed if road conditions here or in another school district require this decision.  While school cancellation policy does not automatically equate to extra-curricular cancellations, it is our general practice. Upon a review of road and weather conditions, varsity teams (varsity roster students only) may be allowed to practice per superintendent and activity director approval only.

Hard Surface Bus Routes (17-18): We appreciate parents helping us out when gravel roads become dangerous for buses. There will be specific stops along these safety routes where parents can meet the buses. Buses will pause for several minutes at each stop to ensure parents can get their children to the designated stops.

  • Route #1:Bus # 27 will drive east on Hoover Highway to Rochester, back to KOA, and back to school.
  • Route #2:Bus # 1 will drive east on Hoover Highway, north Garfield to Cedar Valley, and back to school.
  • Route #3:Bus # 12 will drive the same through the Trailer Court, and just north on Baker.
  • Route #4:Bus # 21 will drive north on Baker, west on Morse Road to Tom Wall’s, back through town to Bickford Addition, and back to school.
  • Route #5:Bus # 2 will drive west on Hoover Highway to Oasis Road, north to Borland-Moon’s  back to Oasis then back to Hoover Highway to Sharpless Auction, to Greenview, and back to school.
  • Route #6:Bus # 16 will drive south on Baker Ave to Downey and back to school.
  • Route #7:Bus # 5 will drive the same to Oasis Road, back to Hoover Highway (Main Street), Greenview, to just past Mr. Brick’s house (on East Main St.) then the Trailer Court, and back to school.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the West Branch Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have any questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Jessica Burger, Elementary Principal, 148 North Oliphant St., West Branch, IA 52358, 319-643-7211, jburger@west-branch.k12.ia.us

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