Inclement weather policy to alleviate winter concerns

Chinook’s Edge School Division’s inclement weather policy will help ease parents’ hesitation of sending children to school this winter.

Chinook’s Edge School Division’s inclement weather policy will help ease parents’ hesitation of sending children to school this winter.

Colour codes are designed to help with communication when weather gets nasty, said Associate Superintendent Ray Hoppins.

Green indicates days that are safe for travel with buses running and schools open.

Yellow days indicate days when buses may not run in certain areas of the division, but when schools remain open. On these days, it is anticipated that most staff members will be able to drive to school and that classes will take place as normal.

Red indicates days when a school or the entire division is closed due to a blizzard, heavy snow, high winds or low visibility. Staff are still expected to conduct their work from home, if possible. At least one staff member will be present at every school in the case of students inadvertently being dropped off.

The codes apply to all of Chinook’s Edge schools, including those in Sylvan Lake, Benalto and Poplar Ridge.

Hoppins said that in the event of a red day, a wide variety of communication methods will be utilized, including email alerts, text messages and phone calls.

Posts will also be made to social media and the Chinook’s Edge website.

“By actually saying that it’s a red day, we ease parents’ minds because they know that there isn’t going to be school that day,” Hoppins said. “Parents rest a little easier knowing that it’s a day where everyone will be staying home.”

Parents have provided positive feedback on the system, he added.

“Parents were hesitant to keep their children at home, and now I think there is less hesitation, but this helps with parents’ hesitant nature,” he said. “I think it does improve communication, because as soon as you say a red day, it helps everyone understand and removes that hesitation from parents.”