Frequently Asked Questions - Weather Related Delays and School Closures

The BASD Context for Weather Related Decisions:

  • 22 schools plus a Transportation Facility, Maintenance Facility and the District Office. All buildings and parking lots must be cleared of snow for a safe school opening.
  • 125 buses travel over 6,000 cumulative miles per day carrying 9,000 students. The first buses roll out of the Transportation facility as early as 6:15 a.m.
  • 5,000+ students are "walkers" and do not receive bus transportation to school.

When the forecast calls for snow, several factors are monitored:

  • Multiple weather services are monitored and their various forecasts analyzed to determine the most likely snow scenario.
  • Timing of the storm - the potential impact on transportation and the school day is considered.
  • Amount of snow forecast - If there is a "plowable" (4 or more inches) snowfall, BASD needs seven hours to clear all 25 district buildings/facilities and parking lots. Additionally, snow must be cleared from the roofs of all 125 buses, a process that takes several hours.
  • Type of snow forecast - light snow, wet snow, freezing rain, etc. create different types of challenges in clearing parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Condition of the roads - As needed, BASD communicates with local municipalities on the condition of the roads and the status of their plowing operations. BASD employees drive the roads during the overnight hours to assess conditions.
  • Condition of the sidewalks - BASD employees also assess the condition of neighborhood sidewalks for the 5,000+ walkers to traverse. Dangerous sidewalks encourage walkers to walk on plowed streets, creating dangerous conditions.
  • Conditions after the storm - temperatures and wind chills after the storm impact the speed of clean up operations, effectiveness of de-icing/salting and the condition of the roads.

Based on an assessment of all of the above factors, a decision to delay the start of school or to close school is made by 5 a.m. allowing adequate time to notify the BASD community.

When the forecast calls for dangerously cold temperatures, several factors are monitored:

  • If the National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Advisory, wind chill temperatures are forecast to reach -15 degrees.
  • Timing of the Wind Chill Advisory
  • Conditions after the Wind Chill Advisory ends
  • If a Wind Chill Advisory is issued and forecasts -15 degree temperatures, a 2-hour delay will be considered.
  • If a Wind Chill Advisory or Warning is issued and forecasts -20 degree temperatures or worse and the Advisory/Warning is in effect throughout the school day, a school closure will be considered.
  • When temperatures drop to dangerously low levels, consideration is given to the 5,000+ student walkers. Additionally, consideration is given to potential mechanical issues with some of the 125 buses and the corresponding potential of students experiencing long wait times at bus stops.