Weatherford Independent School District

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News and Announcements

A Message from Dr. Hanks about Today's Early Release
Dear Weatherford ISD Community,

Understandably, we received phone calls and social media posts after this morning’s decision to hold school.

The decision to operate on a regular schedule had to be made in the very early hours of the morning to allow for bus transportation. At that time, our assessment of road conditions showed roads were clear. Taking into consideration our local forecast that indicated 1-3” of snow over an 8 hour period, we made the decision to hold school on a regular schedule because we believed it would be safe for our students to travel to and from school.

Our first priority is always the safety of our students, parents, and staff. In the past, there have been instances when we’ve closed school in anticipation of bad weather that did not arrive. There are also situations like today, where weather conditions worsened rapidly during the morning hours after we’d made the decision to operate on a regular schedule.

We make our decision to open or close schools in bad weather based on careful analysis of as many relevant factors as we can gather, including:

• Information on road conditions from transportation staff and local law enforcement officials - we must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the District. Even if the street in front of your house looks clear, travel elsewhere in the District may be dangerous.

• Amount of snow or ice accumulated and projected accumulations.

• School entrances – we monitor the clearing and treating of sidewalks to ensure safe passage.

• Weather predictions.

Who makes the decision to close school?

As Superintendent, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from District staff and First Student (bus transportation).

How is the public notified?

We post the announcement on the District website, www.weatherfordisd.com , social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), and automated phone calls to parents. (That’s one reason we always need up-to-date contact information.) In addition, we notify local media so they can broadcast these updates.

When is the decision made?

We try to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify local media and post the information on our website, start automated communications, emails, and phone calls by 6:00 a.m. Also, our first buses leave the transportation center around 5:45 a.m. Finally, we know that waiting much later in the morning limits parents’ options when they are making childcare decisions.

What happened this time?

This morning we followed our protocol to make the decision about the school schedule considering our inclement weather. With the most recent weather information, we began communicating with our experts around 4:00 a.m. Our staff had completed their check of road conditions by 5:00 a.m. and continued to monitor conditions throughout the morning. At 6:00 a.m. we had no reports of dangerous road conditions within the WISD boundaries and the forecast predicted an end to the precipitation around before our dismissal times. Even with the decision to have a regular start, WISD launched a SchoolMessenger call informing parents and staff of the possibility of an early release if the weather turned worse.

Morning classes had just begun when it became clear that road conditions were worsening and that more precipitation than was previously forecast was on the way. Considering all of these factors we made the decision, shortly before 9:00 a.m., to dismiss school at 10:00 am. We contacted First Student to ask bus drivers to return to work, coordinated with our Child Nutrition department to ensure bus students would be provided lunch (and to any child upon request), and notified parents to make transportation arrangements.

I am so thankful for our excellent staff and for our parents who dealt with this change in a caring, professional manner. Our maintenance staff braved the elements to ensure school entrances were cleared multiple times this morning and our child nutrition staff modified their schedule to make sure students were fed. Hall Middle School staff took care of students from several campuses until their parents could pick them up.

Please know that we always strive to make the best decision possible with the information we have at the time. I hope this explanation helps to clarify the process we use during inclement weather. I am honored to work with our outstanding staff and engaged parents as we strive to provide an excellent education for all students.

Without question, this week’s weather has been unusual for late February. I appreciate your confidence and support as we work together to make decisions in the best interest of students, employees, parents, and our community.

With Roo Pride,

Dr. Jeffrey Hanks
Superintendent
Deadline to file for Place on Ballot on WISD School Board ends at 5 p.m. today
Individuals wishing to file for a place on the ballot for the May 9, 2015 Weatherford ISD Trustee Election may either stop by the District Services Building, 1100 Longhorn Drive in Weatherford, or fax their application and other documentation to 817-598-0216 by 5 p.m. today.

Las personas que deseen solicitar un lugar en la boleta electoral para el 09 de mayo 2015 Weatherford ISD Fiduciario Elección puede o bien pasar por el Edificio de Servicios del Distrito , 1100 Longhorn Drive en Weatherford, o enviar por fax su solicitud y demás documentación a 817-598-0216 por 5 horas de hoy.
Early Dismissal Message
Due to rapidly changing weather, Weatherford ISD will be releasing students at all campuses at 10:00 am today (Friday, February 27). Parents may pick up their children at any time prior to that if desired. Buses will be at campuses at 10:00 am to begin transporting students to their homes. A sack lunch will be provided for students who are bus riders and any other students at request. All after-school activities, including Kids Unite, have been cancelled for this evening.

At this time, weather conditions are much worse than forecasted. We appreciate your understanding as we work together to get our students and staff to their homes as safely as possible.
Friday's School Board meeting canceled
Friday's Weatherford ISD School Board Special Session that was scheduled for 4 p.m. has been canceled.
School Open Today - Friday, February 26
Weatherford ISD has monitored roads and the weather forecast this morning. All schools will open on time and buses will run according to their normal schedule. We will constantly monitor the weather throughout the day and consider an early release if conditions warrant.

Should we make a decision to alter today's school schedule, we will notify parents via SchoolMessenger, the website, and social media.

We encourage you to be sure your children are dressed warmly today.
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Events

End of 4th Six Weeks
Date: 2/27/2015
WISD Board Special Session - canceled
Date: 2/27/2015, 4 PM 5 PM
Location: District Services Building Boardroom, 1100 Longhorn Drive
TAKS Testing - ELA (Exit Level)
Date: 3/2/2015
TAKS Testing - Mathematics (Exit Level)
Date: 3/3/2015
College Shirt Day
Date: 3/4/2015