School Closing Procedures
The decision to close school due to inclement weather is a very difficult and serious undertaking. When deciding whether to close schools, factors that are taken into consideration include:
- Amount and type of precipitation;
- Weather forecasts (start and stop times);
- Ability to clear parking lots and sidewalks around schools;
- Street (highway, thoroughfare and residential), and bus stop conditions;
- Freezing rain and the effect on roads, power lines and tree limbs;
- Wind and wind chill; and,
Members of the DPS weather team closely monitor local forecasts at first announcement of a storm front. At all times the safety of students and staff is the basis for determining the cancellation of school.
The condition of all roads is also considered. There will be times when the regular buses cannot travel on all roads because of large accumulations of snow, or because of certain drifting patterns in some areas of the district. Main roads, over time, may be cleared after a morning snowfall, but our residential streets often remain hazardous beyond those early hours when buses deliver our children to school.
In most situations, the decision to close or delay schools will be made by 5:30 a.m. When schools are closed for the day, all extra-curricular activities and field trips are canceled. Decisions concerning athletic events will be made with input from the district athletic director. Notification of school delays and closings because of inclement weather will be communicated through an automated phone call to parents or guardians, posted to the Dayton Public Schools Facebook page, and shared on Twitter, Instagram and the DPS website, as well as sent to the following radio and TV stations:
Stations that announce DPS closings
WHIO – 1290
WDAO – 1210
WING – 1410
WDPS – 89.5
WRNB – 92.1
WDKF – 94.5
WLQT – 99.9
WMMX – 107.7
WTUE – 104.7
WYSO – 91.3
WGTZ – 92.9
WDHT – 102.9
WMUB – 88.5
DPS TV – Channel 21 or 5.105 (Time Warner Cable subscribers)
WDTN – Channel 2
WHIO – Channel 7
WBDT/CW Channel 13 (Time Warner)
WKEF – Channel 22, FOX TV – Channel 45
We ask that you do not call the school or the media concerning cancellations. Please listen to the above stations or check our website for information about school closings. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these procedures, please contact the Office of Safety and Security, 542-7000.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding when school cancellations occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process for deciding if schools are open or closed because of snow and/or ice or other extreme weather conditions?
The DPS weather team closely monitors local forecasts, and consults with local meteorologists. In predawn hours, members are driving on sections of city streets, in residential areas where our buses must travel to get to our students. Those road conditions are assessed by the chief operating officer, and administrators from our transportation and grounds departments.
By 4:30 a.m., the strategic communication director is notified of the decision or asked to stand by. If a decision is made to close schools, the strategic communication director contacts local news media, the DPS switchboard operator, and our DPS-TV station to make the announcement public. The chief operating officer and members of the weather team begin a phone tree to contact principals and central office administrators.
DOES DPS HAVE TWO-HOUR DELAYS?
Yes. DPS will use a delayed start rather than canceling school when conditions allow for this option. It is important that students receive as much instructional time as possible.
Check the website, social media and local news media for notice of the delay. An automated phone call will also be sent to families and staff informing them of the situation.
Under a two-hour delay:
- All school buses will arrive at the morning school bus stop approximately two hours later than the normal pick-up time.
- Schools will open for students two hours later than the normal start time.
- School dismissal will occur at normal time unless weather conditions dictate otherwise.
- DPS will still offer breakfast and lunch.
- There will be no AM preschool. PM preschool will operate as scheduled.
- Each building will develop a two-hour delay schedule so that all periods are taught.
- All field trips are canceled.
- Athletic field trips and after-school trips may occur as scheduled, depending on the weather and road conditions, as well as weather forecasts.
A two-hour delay does not constitute a calamity day. Parents and guardians can always choose to keep their children home if they truly feel there is a weather-related safety risk. These absences will be excused, with makeup work provided to the student.
Staff members are expected to report as close to the regular start time as possible.
Will RTA honor student passes if there is a two-hour delay?
Yes. Students can use their RTA passes past the 9 a.m. mark during two-hour delays.
The main roads were clear, but DPS canceled school anyway. Why?
Over time, main roads may be cleared after a morning snowfall, but our residential streets often remain hazardous beyond the early hours when buses deliver our children to school.
How can I find out if schools are closed?
When severe weather is in the forecast, your most complete source of detailed information is DPS TV (TimeWarner Channel 21) and the DPS Facebook page. There will also be an automated phone call sent to parents and guardians. Those outside our viewing area are advised to tune in to your favorite television or radio station for a list of delays and closings. You also may log on to our DPS website, or you may call our switchboard at 542-3000 and listen to the recorded message for any details about DPS school delays and closings.
IF SCHOOLS ARE DELAYED OR CLOSED, ARE EVENING OR WEEKEND ACTIVITIES CANCELED?
If DPS schools are delayed or closed, all evening activities are most-likely canceled as well. However, some events – such as athletics – still may be held. And, depending on the weather forecast, some weekend events also may go on as planned.
DPS TV (Time Warner Cable Channel 21) will run notices about activity cancellations or availabilities whenever they are received; most TV and radio stations announce only cancelations.