“The safety of our students is our top priority – always,” said Superintendent Terry Price. “The decision to close school is not taken lightly, and that decision will always be based on what is best for our students and staff.”
When snow, ice or extremely cold temperatures are expected, school officials begin monitoring local predictions, which could include conferences with the National Weather Service, to get the most accurate forecast for our area including a reliable timeframe and conclusions regarding total inches of precipitation and the predicted impact the incoming weather could have on local roads.
At the same time, discussions are held between HCPS and road departments to begin an evaluation of safety conditions across the county. Because the county is so large, conditions can vary. While the eastern portion of the county may have seen significant snowfall, the western or southern parts of the county may have only received a dusting. Road crews may have treated only a portion of roads in the county, leaving others dangerous.
“Sometimes we have to close because part of the county is in bad shape, while other parts are fine,” said Director of Pupil Personnel Zach Woods. “We have to take the entire picture into consideration to make sure we keep all of our students and staff safe.”
If snow has fallen overnight, designated school officials take to the roads early in the morning to determine condition. If snow is falling through the early morning hours, road departments are also consulted regarding condition and safety. If snow falls while students are still in school, the district will wait to release buses until after roads have been treated and buses and car drivers can make their way safely home.
If school needs to be cancelled, officials will make that determination no later than 6 a.m., and will then notify local media outlets like the Henry County Local, WAVE 3, WHAS 11, WLKY 32, WDRB 41 and local radio stations, and will post the closure notification to district and school Facebook pages.
Often the Henry County Public Schools Transportation Facebook page will be the first to make the announcement, and the Henry County Public Schools website will announce the closure as well (henry.kyschools.us). Each school has its own Facebook page, and there is also a Henry County Public Schools page. School cancellations, messages for parents, pictures of school activities and relevant school announcements are often communicated via Facebook.
For any questions regarding HCPS’ inclement weather policy, please call (502) 845-8600.