Inclement Weather: Making the Call at MRH
When the temperature becomes extremely low, MRH must strike a balance between a desire to have students in class and our pledge to keep them safe. While MRH will occasionally consult with nearby districts during inclement weather, the decisions we make are entirely our own based on the characteristics and conditions within our school community.
Because of the geographic size of the district, MRH students enjoy relatively brief rides to school and brief waits at bus stops. Those who walk to school typically are outdoors for 15 minutes or less. On top of that, the cities of Maplewood and Richmond Heights have impressive track records of thorough snow removal from streets.
Appropriately layered clothing, along with limiting time outdoors, should protect against the elements. This includes coats, gloves, hats and footwear. If your child normally walks to school, please consider arranging for a ride. At bus stops, some parents may want to wait with their child in the car until the bus arrives.
We want to assure families that our classrooms and buses are warm. When cold weather is imminent, MRH Transportation staff conduct mechanical and safety checks to ensure a smooth engine starts. No bus departs our parking lot until it is sufficiently warm inside.
Indoors, our thermostats are programmed to ensure classrooms are comfortable.
The safety of your child is our paramount concern, every day of the year, no matter what type of weather we’re experiencing.
Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI)
The remote instruction systems developed by MRH allow the District to continue educating students when the weather turns foul. Remote learning in place of snow days will prevent an extension of the scheduled school year.
Inclement weather falling on a school calendar day will likely result in a virtual learning day. Individual school buildings will communicate expectations for students on such days.
If students are on site and weather conditions worsen as the day progresses, MRH may decide to close early. On some days, it may become necessary to begin on-site classes later than the scheduled start time. In all cases, announcements will be made via the usual channels:
- Direct phone calls, texts and emails to families (opt in for text messages by texting YES to 67587. You MUST use the cell phone which is registered in your student(s)’ account in PowerSchool.)
- Postings on the MRH School District website and on the MRH School District Facebook page.
- Announcements on local news media: KMOX AM 1120, KTVI TV Channel 2, KMOV TV Channel 4, KSDK TV Channel 5 and KPLR TV Channel 11
Inclement Weather Operations
- All schools (ECC, Elementary, Middle and High) are closed, including Discover Club.
- Buses do not run.
- Before-school activities are canceled.
- After-school activities will be canceled unless otherwise noted.
- When a snow schedule/late start is announced, starting times for all schools will be one hour and 30 minutes later than normal (students may begin arriving at school 15 minutes prior to the late start time). School will start:
ECC: 9:30 a.m.
Elementary School: 9:00 a.m.
Middle School: 10:00 a.m.
High School: 10:00 a.m.
- Buses will run one hour and 30 minutes later in the morning but leave school at their regular afternoon time.
- Breakfast will NOT be served.
- Before school Discover Club will NOT be provided at the ECC or Elementary (afternoon Discover Club will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- All after-school meetings, programs, sports practices and activities will proceed as scheduled unless additional inclement weather causes the District to cancel after-school and evening activities/programs at some point during the day.
Please note: Depending on last-minute changes in the weather (i.e.: storm track, amount of precipitation, temperature), faster than anticipated deterioration of road conditions, etc., the normal notification time of 5:00 a.m. may be altered.
Other Emergency Situations
While we try not to close school early due to weather-related concerns, there could be other emergency situations where parents/guardians are asked to pick up students early from school. Every family should have a plan for picking up children from school in such a situation. We also ask that you make sure you have provided your child’s school with information on all adults who are authorized to pick up your child at school. If necessary, due to safety concerns, students will be kept at school until they are picked up by an adult who has previously been identified on the emergency contact form that parents are asked to complete at the beginning of each school year.
Even though they might not apply in every emergency or inclement weather situation, here are a few other considerations that we encourage parents and guardians to keep in mind:
- Please do not telephone your child’s school. We will share all necessary information and updates via the District’s parent “robocall” notification system, posted on the District’s website, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
- Resist the urge to reach your child by cell phone. Depending on the situation, attempting to contact your child may put him/her at further risk. More importantly, cell towers have a fixed capacity and cell phone lines will be needed for emergency communication.
- Consider that you may need to use an alternate route to get to school, or your child may need to use an alternate route to get home depending on the nature of the emergency. Increased traffic or road conditions or closures could obstruct your normal route to and from school.